Ontario lowering minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine to 40

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According to a Reuters report, Ontario will start offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 40 and older starting this Tuesday.

The change will be announced Monday and go into effect Tuesday. The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently only offered to those 55 and older in Ontario, but federal officials said Sunday that Health Canada had licensed it for use for anyone over the age of 18, leaving provinces free to make their own decisions about who can get it.

According to the report, the shot will be offered at pharmacies and “pharmacy care settings,” with the decision reportedly being based on the current supply of AstraZeneca vaccines.

Two people in Canada have developed complications from the AstraZeneca vaccine, and an independent panel called the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) had previously recommended that the shot only be given to those 55 and older. While all provinces followed that advice, NACI’s recommendations are not binding. Health Canada said it would not restrict the use of the vaccine, stating that the benefits outweighed the potential risks.

NACI is expected to provide new recommendations on Tuesday.

For information on how to book a vaccine, click here.