Ontario expanding vaccine rollout in Simcoe-Muskoka

The province is lowering the minimum age for COVID-19 vaccines in several health units

As of Monday morning, people 70 years of age and over in Simcoe-Muskoka can use the provincial online booking system to schedule their COVID-19 shots.

The Ford government announced late Sunday the province is lowering the minimum age for vaccines in 11 more public health units.

Previously, the minimum age in Simcoe-Muskoka was 75.

“Thanks to the careful planning of everyone involved in the vaccine rollout, we are able to extend vaccination appointments to more Ontarians ahead of schedule,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “But until Ontario receives enough vaccines so that the majority of Ontarians can be vaccinated, it remains critical for everyone to continue following public health measures, so that we can control the spread. Please, continue to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and wash your hands to help keep our communities and loved ones safe.”

The change also applies to York Region, though the health unit there was already vaccinating people in that age group, individuals were only able to book an appointment through the regional system.

As of March 27, over three-quarters of Ontario residents aged 80 and over have received at least one dose. Over a third of residents aged 75 to 79 have now received their first shot.

The expansion comes as Ontario reported 2,448 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the fourth straight day the number of new infections was above 2,000.