Ontario has paused the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Effective May 11, 2021 Ontario will be pausing the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The decision to pause is also based on the increased and reliable supply of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and the downward trend in cases.
Based on the much higher risks of COVID-19 infection recently observed in Ontario including hospitalization, serious illness and death, it is maintained that those who received their first dose with the AstraZeneca vaccine did absolutely the right thing to prevent illness, and to protect their families, loved ones and communities.
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This page was last updated on: May 12, 2021
- What happens if I had an appointment booked to receive my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine? Your first dose appointment will be cancelled. You will receive a cancellation email if you haven't already. We will keep everyone posted on the availability of Pfizer and Moderna at DrugSmart Pharmacy, but you are able to book at some pharmacies in hot spots already. Check here for COVID-19 vaccine availability.
- What happens if I received AstraZeneca for my first dose? Data from the UK points to a much-reduced risk of VITT in second doses of AstraZeneca. We will continue to keep you updated on the recommended course of action for your second dose. There is nothing you need to do right now.
General vaccine information
Materials and resources from the Ministry of Health:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Form
- After Your COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet
- Questions and Answers for Patients: COVID-19 Vaccine Immunization through Ontario Pharmacies
For additional questions and general information about vaccination, you can:
- visit Ontario’s vaccination program webpage
- call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY: 1-866-797-0007)
- information is available in more than 300 languages
- this line is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week
- you may have to wait for an agent when call volumes are high
- contact your health care provider
- contact your local public health unit
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Should you ever have an experience with a DrugSmart team member or service that doesn't meet the above Commitment to Care standards, please let us know.
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