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Ontario to go ahead with 2nd doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Last Updated May 21, 2021 at 12:24 pm EDT

Vials of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine sit in a fridge at the local vaccine center in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. March, 22, 2021. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Matthias Schrader/File

Ontario is moving forward with administering second doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer, says during the week of May 24, individuals who received their first dose of the vaccine during the period of March 10 to March 19, 2021 may opt for an earlier dose interval after just 10 weeks.

Those individuals will be able to book an appointment beginning the week of May 24th in regions where the vaccine was launched at pharmacies.

Williams said the province will provide further information on how individuals who received their first dose of the shot after March 19 can book a second dose appointment in the “near future.”

Ontario had paused use of the vaccine because of concerns about rare, fatal blood clots and health authorities were considering if a different vaccine should be substituted for second doses. However, the province says new data indicate the benefits far outweigh the risk with second doses.

There are approximately 55,000 doses of the vaccine that will expire May 31st and according to federal officials, the province is set to receive an additional 250,000 doses this week.

Nearly one million people in Ontario aged 40 and older have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

More than 7.5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, with formulations from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.