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Peel Region says it will lower the age range to get a COVID vaccine each week

A worker waits to assist people outside at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, March 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Peel’s top doctor says the region will begin moving through five-year age groups every week as it aims to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the hot spot.

Dr. Lawrence Loh says he is optimistic that the plan will allow the region, which has high rates of COVID-19, to exit the pandemic sooner.

Region officials say they will start vaccinating people aged 50 and older on Monday, and will descend through the age ranges in five year increments each week.

They warn that timeline could be extended depending on vaccine supply or if uptake in an age group is higher than predicted.

They estimate that they will be able to give 65 per cent of Peel Region’s total population their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by early June.

The region will use mass vaccination clinics for most people and mobile units to provide shots to those in hard-hit areas determined by the province.


RELATED: Guide to booking a COVID-19 vaccine in the GTA: Who, where and how


Peel’s latest vaccine timeline was laid out as a stay-at-home order took effect across the province on Thursday.

Ontarians received emergency alerts on their cellphones, radios and televisions Thursday morning telling them to stay home.

The message, sent by the Ministry of the Solicitor General through the province’s Alert Ready broadcast system, asked people to only leave their homes for essential purposes such as food, healthcare, exercise or work.

The province used a similar emergency alert in January to communicate the start of a stay-at-home order when COVID-19 cases spiked at that time.

Premier Doug Ford announced the latest stay-at-home order on Wednesday, saying it was prompted by a surge in cases driven by more infectious variants.

Stores that sell goods such as groceries, cleaning supplies and pharmacy products can remain open but only to sell essential items.

Non-essential retail can open for curbside pickup or delivery only.

The province declared the third state of emergency since the start of the pandemic to invoke the new measures.