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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout gets needed boost from pharmacies

Ontario expanded its coronavirus vaccine rollout this week with the addition of pharmacies and physicians’ offices to its immunization framework.

The pilot project officially launched Friday in Toronto, Windsor-Essex, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington public health units.

At 8 am, the doors to Shoppers Drug Mart at Lawrence Avenue East and Kennedy Road in Scarborough swung open to welcome vaccine recipients.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment since the beginning of the pandemic,” said pharmacist Victor Wong.

The pharmacy received 325 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and by 2 pm, staff had administered more than .

“This marks the beginning of the end of what’s been such a tumultuous year. ”

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Carol Rheaume arrived for her appointment, donning a bejeweled mask.

She may not have been there to claim jackpot winnings, but this was a moment worth celebrating.

“It’s like I’ve won the lottery. I’m very excited. ”

“ I couldn’t sleep for the last few nights, ”she said.

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AstraZeneca doses are being administered at more than 70 pharmacies in the three participating health regions.

The two-dose vaccine recently came under scrutiny, after several European nations temporarily suspended its use over reports of blood clots forming in a number of individuals who were immunized.

002 1: 11 WHO says continue to use AstraZeneca vaccine as several countries temporarily pause distribution

WHO says continue to use AstraZeneca vaccine as several countries temporarily pause distribution “Given the low incidence rate, it’s probably due to that particular batch,” said epidemiologist Dr. Raywat Deonandan.

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“That batch does not represent the entirety of the vaccine. We get ours in Canada from India. The ones we’re talking about here are in Europe – different manufacturing centers. ”

The initial 325, 00 doses received by Canada were manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Two million doses in total will come from that agreement.

An additional 11 million doses secured with AstraZeneca have been slated for arrival in the spring.

Deonandan added that if the vaccine had been linked to the clot formations , the incidence rate is “vanishingly small.”

“We’re looking at tens of millions of shots that have been delivered around the world and this has not been observed anywhere else.”

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