Provincial government continues to cite vaccine supply shortages as obstacle to rollout in Eastern Ontario’s pharmacies

TORONTO — In an update from Queens Park, the provincial government announced its collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Starting today, twenty new pharmacies will begin offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine 24/7 to individuals aged 40 and over.

To help increase access to vaccines for those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacies in hot spot communities will receive additional doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine. Additionally, the province is now enabling pharmacies to offer walk-in services. Ontarians should contact participating pharmacies to inquire as to whether they are offering vaccines by appointment, on a walk-in basis or both.

Last week, more than 700 pharmacies came on board across the province, bringing the total to over 1,400 locations. All eligible individuals can find a local pharmacy location offering vaccines through Ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine. In addition, many primary care providers are directly contacting eligible patients to book an appointment.

“Working with our pharmacy partners, we are ensuring communities who are most at risk are able to access COVID-19 vaccines conveniently, close to home and around the clock,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Vaccines remain the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you, and I encourage everyone to sign up when it’s your turn.”

The provincial government continues to cite vaccine supply and delivery setbacks as the major obstacle facing the rollout. The upcoming shipment of Moderna that was due to be received on April 19th is now delayed until the end of April or the first week of May. The shipment is also expected to be reduced by 212,300 doses. An additional shipment of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, estimated to be approximately 389,000 doses was expected mid-April, and will now be delayed to the end of May.

Nation Valley News spoke to MPP Jim McDonell, who said that more pharmacy locations in Eastern Ontario have been proposed, but they won’t be able to open until there is more supply. Below are the pharmacies currently offering vaccines in and around Eastern Ontario.

Visit the provincial website for a list of participating pharmacies in Ontario.

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