On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced that it will be expanding its COVID-19 vaccine distribution to people 18 and older in hotspots areas of the province, as mobile testing units and pop-up clinics are organized.
Who is eligible for the 18+ rollout?
The province has released the below list of postal codes that are considered high priority, but the introduction of this younger age group into the province's vaccine plan will begin in the hot spots in only Toronto and Peel.
It is important to note that areas listed with postal codes in hot spot regions including York Region, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton Region, and Durham Region will be added to the rollout later.
"This initiative will be expanded to additional 'hot spot' regions based on established patterns of transmission, severe illness, and mortality," the information from the Ontario government reads.
You can check what eligibility requirements are necessary for your postal code on Ontario's vaccine booking site.
Where will the vaccines be administered and how can you sign up?
While some specifics are still unknown about how the distribution through mobile and pop-up clinics will be executed, individuals can qualify, when launched, if they live or work in Toronto and Peel postal codes.
Mobile vaccination teams are expected to administer vaccines in some of the following settings in hot spot neighbourhoods, for individuals 18 or older:
High-risk congregate settings
Locations occupied by large employers
How the rollout will happen when mobile clinics are set up, and the sign-up process has not yet been made clear. When a specific sign-up process is rolled out, the information will be available on Ontario's vaccine booking site. As of publication time, the site is still asking individuals in Toronto and Peel to fall into the following categories in order to book an appointment.
Currently, Ontario is heading into Phase 2 of the vaccination plan which includes:
Adults aged 60 to 79, in 5-year increments
High-risk congregate settings (such as shelters, community living)
Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers
Those who cannot work from home
Officials announced the province will be lowering the age range for general vaccinations to those 50 and above in COVID-19 hotspots this week.
What is the plan for education workers in the province?
Beginning next week, education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and education workers in "hot spot areas," will be able to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The provincial government states that vaccinations for education workers will commence during the planned April school break, beginning on April 12. Appointments will initially be available for individuals in priority neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel, followed by York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham. Then it will be expanded across more regions of the province, dependent on vaccine supply.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he expects 40 per cent of the province's adults to be vaccinated in the next four weeks.