Seniors over the age of 80 in line for COVID vaccinations in coming weeks

An online booking system and service desk for appointments are still in development

Ontario seniors aged 80 and over could be getting a call from their doctor in the coming weeks to book vaccination appointments as the province moves along with its COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

“We want to be able to start vaccinating those 80 years of age and older, and we will be reaching out to them in the next week to two weeks to tell them when their opportunity is going to become available, and where they can go to book their appointments, either online or through a phone line, and where they can get their information,” Gen. Rick Hillier, who leads Ontario’s vaccination effort, said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

An online booking system and service desk for appointments are still in development.

Seniors in the 80-plus bracket could start to receive jabs in March but officials said some health units could begin sooner once they complete vaccinations for high-priority individuals, which include long-term care residents.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit said this week that mass vaccination clinics will be established in six locations across the region as the province prepares for a spike in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Severe weather in the U.S. pushed back shipments on Wednesday. Doses of the Moderna vaccine will not be as plentiful as expected, but the supply should increase next month.

Phase 2 of the province’s vaccination program is expected to begin in April and run through the end of July and will include about 2.8 million people between the ages of 60 and 79, as well as roughly 2 million frontline essential workers, 3.1 million individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers, 660,000 people who are part of at-risk populations and another 157,000 people living and working in other high-risk congregate settings.

The rest of Ontario’s population should begin receiving vaccinations beginning in August.