OPHA – Media Release: Pharmacies and Physicians Start AstraZeneca Vaccinations (Mar. 10)

Your COVID-19 Summary for Mar. 10 – Pharmacies and Physicians Start AstraZeneca Vaccinations

Dear OPHA Members, 

Here’s your summary of the key developments, announcements and messages conveyed today by our political and public health leaders related to COVID-19.  


Provincial Developments:

  • Ontario pharmacies and primary care are set to begin COVID-19 vaccinations as the government continues to expand the vaccine delivery channels in the province.
  • Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart and Costco are among select pharmacy chains participating in the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people ages 60 and 64 in Toronto, Windsor-Essex, and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington.
  • Premier Ford said that family physicians in some regions, including Toronto, Peel and Hamilton, will start administering AstraZeneca vaccines to eligible persons on Saturday, March 13th.  Family physicians will not be taking appointments but will be contacting priority patients directly starting today.
  • Tourism Minister, Lisa MacLeod, announced that Ontario is establishing Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force to provide expert advice and recommendations on rebuilding and reshaping the future of tourism in the province.   
  • The Ontario government is providing $255 million to help municipalities and Indigenous program partners respond to an increase in COVID-19 cases in some emergency shelters and help keep vulnerable people safe. The new funding is to protect homeless shelter staff and residents and help prevent more people from becoming homeless.

Federal Developments:

  • Prime Minister Trudeau says Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is facing some production delays and Canada still doesn’t have a date for the delivery of the pre-ordered 10 million doses.
  • The federal government is launching a website to track progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on First Nation reserves as part of its new strategy.

More details are included below along with an update on cases in Ontario and across Canada.

Provincial Developments:

COVID-19 Vaccination and Phase 2 Rollout:

  • Ontario will have administered one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of day today. The province plans to administer an additional one million doses of the vaccines in the next three weeks.
  • Ontario also plans to have more than 120 mass vaccination units opened across the province the end of the month. Depending on supply, these mass vaccination sites will increase the province’s vaccine administration capacity to over 150,000 doses per day.
  • Premier Ford announced that over 325 pharmacies will be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to Ontarians aged 60 to 64 years by the end of the week. Vaccines will be available at Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and independent pharmacies. Appointments for getting shots begin today.
  • Premier Ford said that family physicians in Toronto, Peel, Guelph, Peterborough, Simcoe-Muskoka, and Hamilton will start administering AstraZeneca vaccines to eligible persons on Saturday, March 13, 2021. General Hiller added that primary care professionals and family doctors will form clinics which could serve as mini mass vaccination sites.
  • Premier Doug Ford announced that family physicians in the City of Brampton will be receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine for administration to resident ages 60 to 64 years.
  • Ontario’s COVID-19 registration portal and customer service desk will go live on Monday, March 15. General Hiller urged people that are not eligible for appointments including the media, and those not booking for seniors aged 60 to 64 years to stay off the website to avoid potential issues for the priority group accessing the website. 

Allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to pharmacies and family care settings

  • Primary care settings and family physicians will be getting 29,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Family physicians will not be taking appointments but will be contacting priority patients directly starting today.
  • The remaining doses will be shared across the 327 pharmacies in the three public health units participating in the pilot. All vaccinations available through pharmacies will require an appointment to be made in advance. Eligible adults aged 60-64 (as defined by year of birth between 1957-1961), who are interested in booking an appointment, can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and can contact the pharmacy to make an appointment.

Federal Developments: 

COVID-19 Cases and the Spread of Variants of Concern:

  • The latest national-level data show a 7-day average of 2,967 new daily cases (Mar. 3-9). Infection rates in Canada are highest among those aged 20-39 years.
  • As of March 9th, a total of 2,663 variants of concern (↑293 since Mar.8) have been reported across Canada including 2,480 (↑263) B.1.1.7 variants, 153 (↑17) B.1.351 variants and 30 (↑13) P.1 variants have been reported, with numbers highest in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, respectively.
  • Recent analysis of the efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada supports that priority vaccination programs are providing strong benefits for those at highest risk of severed outcomes or exposure.

We will continue to monitor and report on key COVID-19 developments to help our members stay informed. Stay well!

Pegeen and Debola/Faduma

P.S. Check out OPHA’s Nutrition Connections new report revealing the troubling depths of food insecurity among female lone-parent households, Indigenous communities and low income Ontarians.

Details and Links to Other Announcements:

Trends and Cases in Ontario, Canada, and First Nations on Reserve:

Cases Among First Nations on Reserve:

As of March 9th, Indigenous Services Canada was aware of these confirmed cases of COVID-19 for First Nations communities:

  • 22,451 confirmed positive COVID-19
  • 1,168 active cases
  • 1,027 hospitalizations
  • 21,035 recovered cases
  • 248 deaths

Cases in Ontario: (March 9th as of 10:30am)

  • Total number of cases: 312,428; an increase of 1,316
  • Most newly confirmed cases are concentrated in three public health unit regions (e.g., 428 new cases in Toronto, 244 in Peel and 149 in York Region)
  • Resolved: 294,018 (94.1%); an increase of 1,212
  • Deaths: sadly, 7,099 people have died; an increase of 16 people
  • Hospitalized: 678 people were hospitalized; 281 were in intensive care and of those, 178 were on a ventilator
  • Long-term care homes (according to iPHIS): 84 active outbreaks; 55 active cases in residents; 134 active cases in staff; 3,748 deaths among residents and 11 among staff
  • Lab testing: 11,523,830 completed; 54,149 tests were completed yesterday; while the backlog of tests waiting to be completed is 38,518
  • As of 10:30 a.m. today, 978,797 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 35,264 doses on Tuesday; with a total of 279,204 people fully vaccinated.

Cases in Canada: (March 9th as of 7pm)

  • Total number of cases: 893,518; an increase of 2,826
  • Deaths: 22,304
  • People tested per million: 667,070
  • Percent Positivity: 3.7%



Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA)

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