Ontario lowers AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility to those 40 years of age and older

Spokesperson for Health Minister says decision to lower age based on vaccine supply

The Ontario government is lowering the minimum age for the AstraZeneca vaccine to people 40 year of age and older.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the shot will be offered in primary care settings and pharmacies beginning on Tuesday.

The spokesperson added the decision to lower the age was based on current vaccine supply.

AstraZeneca is currently available only to adults aged 55 and older following the recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

It is in response to cases of younger people developing a rare blood clot after receiving the shot. On Saturday, Alberta reported that a patient who got the AstraZeneca vaccine developed a vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia. It is the second case of the rare blood clot disorder in Canada.

Health Canada has approved AstraZeneca for those 18 years old and over.

At a news conference Sunday, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu was asked if she would support lowering the age for AstraZeneca in Ontario.

“Provinces and territories are free to use AstraZeneca in any age population over 18 as per Health Canada‚Äôs license for use in Canada,” Hajdu said.

More than 1,400 pharmacies in Ontario are offering the vaccine.