More than half of Ontario adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

More than half of Ontario adults have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, officials confirmed that just over 51 per cent of people aged 18 and up are now considered fully vaccinated. More than 78 per cent of adults in Ontario have received at least one shot.

“It is great news to be able to report again this week that Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination program is moving ahead of schedule,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said at a news conference Thursday morning.

“Our province has reached another milestone in our path towards a two-dose summer, with more than half of all adults in Ontario having received a second dose of a COVID-9 vaccine. And this level of protection continues to grow each and every day.”

Ontario has administered 195,150 doses of vaccine a day on average, officials say.

The province is expecting to receive about five million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in July to aide in the continuation of the vaccine rollout. This is in addition to the more than 1.6 million doses of Moderna received this week.

With such a large batch of doses expected, officials say that the province may not need as much supply next month as they are “running out” of arms. At that time, the government hopes to pivot away from a mass vaccination clinic model and transition towards pharmacies and primary care givers as main sources for the vaccine administration.

“We do have to acknowledge that hospitals also have a lot of other business that they need to be focused on,” Jones said.

“As we return to that system, we’re going to be able to get hospitals out of the vaccine business so to speak and put it where it historically and traditionally is, which is with our public health units, with our pharmacies and primary care practitioners.

Most mass vaccination clinics are being held at large recreation and community centres, which will be resuming operations in Step 3 of the province’s economic reopening plan.

Health Minister Christine Elliott added that the transition would occur at a point when most eligible Ontario residents who want a vaccine have received their shots.

“We are depending on our family doctors and our public health units in order to do that because we know at some point our hospitals will need to go back to their usual businesses, that some of the places where we have the mass vaccination clinics now, which are in arenas and so on and municipalities, they will have to use them again as arenas.”

Primary care providers have been administrating vaccines in about 700 settings, including in doctors' offices and pop-up clinics. The government says that going forward, they will “play an even larger role” in the rollout.

All Ontarians aged 12 and up are now eligible to book a second shot through the provincial booking site.

According to the province, about 59 per cent of youth have received one dose of a vaccine, while another 14 per cent have received their second.

Canada has not yet approved a vaccine for children under the age of 12.

The province has said it is working with local public health units and community organizers to help encourage residents to get the shots, adding that the vast majority of new cases may be attributed to lack of vaccinations.

On Tuesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said that 83.2 per cent of new COVID-19 cases between May 15 and June 12 were in individuals who were not vaccinated. Officials say that partially vaccinated and breakthrough cases—infections that occur two weeks following a first dose and seven days after a second dose—represent a small number of new infections.

Only about 1.2 per cent of cases between May 15 and June 12 were in people who received two shots of a vaccine.

Public health units to get access to sociodemographic data

Officials have said they will make de-identified sociodemographic data collected throughout the the vaccination process available to public health units (PHU).

The data will be shared through IntelliHealth, a provincial tool already being used by local PHUs to access vaccine information.

The data includes information on race, ethnic origin, language, household income and household size.

The ministry will be scheduling information sessions for PHUs on data availability and use.