Local pharmacies administer first doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

A pharmacy in Cambridge administered its first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday.

Last week, the province expanded its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to another 350 pharmacies, including locations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph.

Appointments are available to people over the age of 55.

The Shoppers Drug Mart on Dundas Street in Cambridge gave out its first dose on Monday around 9 a.m.

Pharmacists there plan to administer 40 doses on Monday. That will increase throughout the week, with 60 appointments booked on Tuesday and 70 on Wednesday. Eventually, they plan to offer more than 200 appointments a day.

"I registered and it was so easy," said Kim Hopper after receiving the vaccine. "Couldn't sleep last night, I woke up at 4 and filled out all my questions."

"It came as a very pleasant surprise," vaccine recipient Richard Maxwell said. "I wasn't expecting to be called for at least another month from anybody."

Owner and pharmacist Bryan Langel said his store got 1,200 doses on Sunday.

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry tweeted on Monday afternoon she was able to get her vaccine on Monday.

Excited to get my Vaccination today! Thanks Pharmacists Shaminder & Bryan Langel @ Dundas St Shoppers Drug Mart! #Cbridge @CTVKitchener @570News @ROWPublicHealth @cityofcambridge @cambridgetimes pic.twitter.com/F6oYKfBg7g

— Kathryn McGarry (@Kathryn_McGarry) April 5, 2021

Some local pharmacies are taking bookings online, while others will take appointments over the phone.

Waterloo Region's vaccination task force has also opened pre-registration for people over the age of 60, along with some other priority groups under Phase Two of the province's vaccination rollout plan.

This map shows which local pharmacies are adminstering vaccines right now.

A full list of pharmacies in Ontario can be found here.