Health Minister Christine Elliot says the government is working to vaccinate teens against COVID-19. She didn’t give a timeframe but said doses might be given in schools.
She said Ontario is looking at administering first doses to students in schools this year and encourages second doses over the summer.
“Absolutely, this is being planned,” Elliott said. “We want to make sure our young people are protected from COVID-19 as well.”
Health Canada authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on adolescents 12 and up Wednesday, and Alberta announced it would be offering the shot to teens starting next week.
Elliott called the approval “wonderful news” and said the government is working to offer immunizations to teens “as soon as possible.”
During a technical briefing Wednesday, health officials said Ontario would have to consider how soon it should offer adults second doses when deciding on a timeframe to expand eligibility to adolescents.
Elliott’s comments came during an update on vaccine rollout where she spoke from Queen’s Park alongside Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
She announced Ontario is launching mobile vaccination trucks that will visit small and medium-sized workplaces in Toronto, Peel, and York Region to immunize employees who can’t work from home.
Five of the mobile trucks will begin on Friday, May 7. The province plans to have 15 of the mobile units operating eventually.
“The new mobile units for at-risk businesses are another step in our efforts to get more people in priority areas vaccinated as conveniently and as quickly as possible,” Jones said in a news release.
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Ontario says it’s on track to vaccinate 65% of all adults by the end of May. Starting Thursday at 8 am, the province opens eligibility to anyone 50 and older.
Daily case counts have come down from their mid-April high as the provincial Stay-at-Home order reaches its fourth week in effect. Ontario recorded 2,941 new infections on Wednesday.