What’s behind Ontario’s abrupt shift toward vaccinating everyone in COVID-19 hotspots


Province’s science advisors recommended since February that vaccinations should target most-affected areas Premier Doug Ford’s government has frequently altered its COVID-19 strategies, but none of those changes have seemed quite so abrupt as this week’s announcement that everyone in Ontario’s hardest-hit neighbourhoods aged 18 and up can get vaccinated. The province had previously signalled there would be some extra vaccination push directed toward the places most affected by the pandemic. But all the documentation released by the Ministry of Health until this week showed that those efforts would focus on older age groups. On Tuesday morning, senior government officials in charge of the vaccination rollout gave a detailed briefing on the timeline for April through June. It declared the start of targeted vaccinations in hotspots, but only for people aged 50 and up. Barely 24 hours later, Ford announced that all adults in those hotspots would be eligible to get vaccinated immediately. “As we speak, mobile vaccination teams are being organized to get vaccines to where they will have the greatest impact,” Ford said Wednesday, during his news conference announcing Ontario’s new stay-at-home order.

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