Ontario has been told to “prepare for delays” with two upcoming shipments of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
A spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford told Daily Hive that a shipment scheduled for the end of April and another that is expected to arrive in May would be affected.
The delay comes on the heels of Ontario’s announcement that it is lowering the eligibility age for the AstraZeneca vaccine from 55 to 40.
“As we look to expand our rollout of AstraZeneca to younger age groups and into more pharmacies, any delays to vaccine shipments would be devastating for Ontario right now as we battle the third wave of this pandemic,” Ford’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“While we seek to confirm this information, the premier is redoubling his efforts to secure more vaccines by directly reaching out to our international allies for any available supply.”
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It was reported on April 18 that Ford had begun reaching out to foreign consulates in the hopes of securing additional COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario.
According to his spokesperson, the premier has spoken with Canada’s ambassador to Denmark and the Consulate General of the United States.
Both officials will be “advancing” his request to purchase additional AstraZeneca doses to their respective administrations.
The premier has plans to speak with the EU’s ambassador to Canada and the High Commissioner of India as well. A request has also been sent to Norway’s ambassador.
“The premier will continue exhausting every option available to secure more vaccines sooner so that we can put this pandemic behind us once and for all,” the spokesperson said.
To date, Ontario has seen 421,442 COVID-19 cases and 7,735 virus-related deaths.