Here's who will get the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario
TORONTO -- Ontario will use the AstraZeneca vaccine for people between the ages of 60 and 64 and will rely on “different pathways” such as pharmacists and health care practitioners to deliver the doses before they expire in early April.
The province is slated to receive an estimated 190,000 doses of the newly-approved AstraZeneca vaccine this month, roughly 114,000 of which have an expiration date of Apr. 2.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said the province is ready to distribute the vials to 34 public health units as they arrive and that Ontario has “done all the background work” needed to administer the vaccine.
“We have enough pathways to vaccination to use all vaccines that we get,” Jones told reporters at Queen’s Park
While Jones indicated the highly-portable AstraZeneca vaccine will be treated differently from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – which have strict cold storage requirements – she could not specify the exact delivery system and suggested that a variety of methods could be used to get the doses out the door.
“We have mass vaccination sites, we have public health partners, we have hospitals, we have pharmacies coming online, we have family [doctors],” Jones said.
While Jones confirmed the province has signed an agreement with the Ontario Pharmacy Association allowing community pharmacists to administer the new vaccine, she declined to provide specific information citing the need to double check that public health units are “aware and able” to fulfil the task.