Ontario premier says 40% of adults will have received first COVID-19 vaccine dose by end of Friday

Premier Doug Ford says 40 per cent of Ontario adults will have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Friday, one week ahead of schedule.

Ford held another press conference from his late mother’s property in Etobicoke Friday afternoon, where he is isolating after possibly being exposed to the virus last week.

On Thursday, a spokesperson from the premier’s office said Ford “is in good health, symptom free and expects to be out of isolation early next week as per public health guidelines.”

During his Friday press conference, Ford touted the province’s work of rolling out vaccines across the province and said a vaccine milestone would be achieved by the end of the day.

“I am as happy as you about the news for more vaccines, we hit five million vaccines yesterday, and I'm happy that I can tell you that by the end of today, we will have administered the first vaccine to 40 per cent of Ontario adults. This is great news, it’s news we've all been waiting for,” Ford said.

Earlier this month, the government said it would aim to give the first shot to 40 per cent of adults in Ontario by the time the provincewide stay-at-home order was to be lifted, which was initially set to end on May 6 but was extended until at least May 20.

As of Friday at 10:30 a.m., more than 5.1 million doses of vaccine have been administered across the province since mid-December.

There are more than 14.7 million residents living in Ontario and over 11.6 million adults, according to Statistics Canada's 2016 census.

Over the past week, an average of more than 106,700 doses have been administered per day.

To date, over 371,100 people have been fully vaccinated in the province. Two doses of approved vaccines currently being administered in Ontario are needed for full immunization.

Although Ford praised the vaccine milestone, he urged residents to remain vigilant as the province continues to battle the third wave of the pandemic.

“But as difficult as it is, we can't take anything for granted right now. We need to be more vigilant than ever because this virus is changing. It is mutating, it is becoming more deadly. It is becoming smarter,” he said.

Yesterday, the province’s vaccine task force updated its rollout plans and said that every adult in Ontario will be able to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment by the week of May 24, due to an anticipated spike in supply.

As of today, the age eligibility for using the provincial booking portal to reserve appointments dropped to 55 years old and over, and the age threshold will continue dropping weekly to 50 plus in the week of May 3, 40 plus in the week of May 10, 30 plus in the week of May 17 and down to 18 and up by the week of May 24.

All adults in any of the province’s 114 hot spot neighbourhoods, identified by postal codes, will also be eligible to book a vaccine appointment by May 3, as the province will be allocating 50 per cent of all incoming doses to hot spot neighbourhoods for two weeks in May.

The updated rollout is due to more supply slated to come into the province next month. Officials said Ontario will receive nearly 800,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for each week in May, increasing to 940,000 per week in each week of June. Another shipment of 388,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine is also expected to arrive on May 10.