Codi Wilson
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Bryann Aguilar
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An elderly woman is helped come to her appointment at a COVID-19 mass vaccination site during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont March 2021 THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette

Toronto residents 60 and older can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments at city clinics starting Friday after the province authorizes the city to lower their age rating

Mayor John Tory confirmed approval Thursday, the day after the city asked the Ontario government to lower the age limit on booking a COVID-19 vaccine on the provincial portal

Starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, residents born in 1961 or earlier can book a shot at a city-run mass immunization clinic

“I encourage any resident eligible for vaccination to do so this Easter weekend if they can. Our clinics are open throughout the Easter weekend and appointments are available,” Tory said

“Thank you to the thousands of people who answered the call to sign up this week and to all family members and friends who help their loved ones get their shot”

Tory thanked the Ford government for “their timely response to this request.” Toronto had to ask the province for the change as the city uses the provincial booking system

The city said that about 2There are 000 appointments available. Most appointments are available at the Metro Toronto Convention Center and the Toronto Congress Center

The province also confirmed Thursday that people aged 60 and over in the Peel Region can book an appointment for a COVID-19 admission from Friday, April 2

Tory also welcomed the news that vaccines will be available in 52 more pharmacies in the city.The provincial government announced Thursday that it is reducing the age of those who can book a vaccine appointment at a pharmacy to 55 and the pharmacy vaccination program to 350 further locations expanded

Currently, vaccine appointments are only available in selected pharmacies for people aged 60 and over

“This is in line with a request from me and Toronto Public Health that the vaccine should be available in more pharmacies around the city, particularly in the Northwest and Northeast,” said Tory

Other vaccine sites also expanded their eligibility to additional groups on Thursday when Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout in Ontario officially began

The Humber River Hospital will now begin vaccinating people aged 50 and over who live in the nearby catchment area This is part of the Phase 2 effort to target hot spot areas

While the province’s vaccine booking system only allows residents born in 1951 and earlier to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 shot, some individual hospitals have been able to lower the eligibility age in recent weeks

On Thursday, the Humber River Hospital confirmed that those born in 1971 or earlier and living in the northwest Toronto drainage area are eligible to get a shot at its Downsview Arena clinic

A number of Toronto hospitals announced Thursday that they would begin immunizing people with “highest risk” and “high risk” health conditions under Phase 2 guidelines

So far, more than 530000 vaccines administered, and Tory on Wednesday predicted the city would have its next 500Administer 000 doses even faster

Toronto currently operates five mass immunization clinics seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A sixth clinic is slated to open on Monday at the Hangers in Downsview Park

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World News – CA – Torontonians 60 can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Friday