Special ed teaching staff among those eligible for 11,000 new vaccine appointments in York Region

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York Region is opening 11,000 new appointments starting tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., and is expanding them to special education staff and those living with the highest and very chronic health conditions. 

The region will continue to offer more appointments as more vaccines become available. 

Eligible residents in the region can book an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccination online at york.ca/COVID19Vaccine

The former age bracket for residents eligible to make an appointment to get the vaccine was age 45 to 59, however has since been lowered to 45 to 54. 

The age bracket applies to residents who live in five identified "hot spots" - four in Vaughan and one in Markham - for bookings between April 14 to 17 due to limited vaccine supply and AstraZeneca vaccine available to those 55-years and over. 

Appointments are required to receive the vaccination and walk-in appointments are not available. Residents who visit a vaccination clinic without an appointment will be turned away. 

According to a report from the region, they are experiencing a "serious" reduction in vaccine due to the delays in the Moderna shipment for this week. 

As a result of the vaccination shortage, COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan and the Georgina Ice Palace are being closed by York Region Public Health. 

Also, capacity will be reduced at the remaining three public health clinics in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. 

"These closures and adjustments will remain in place until the region receives additional vaccines," said Patrick Casey, the region's director of corporate communications. 

The following is a list of eligible residents who live, or in some cases work, in the region to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine:

• residents age 65-years and over in all clinics

• residents 60-years and over at the Cornell and Soccer City clinics

• residents age 45 to 54 who live in five of the region's hot spots 

• individuals (and one of their caregivers) with highest and very high risk health conditions 

• special education staff 

• highest, very high and high priority health care workers 

• staff, essential caregivers and any residents that have not yet received a first dose in long-term care homes, retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes

• alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors

• staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors

• Indigenous adults and members of their households

• adults with a chronic condition receiving home care services (appropriate documentation will be required)

• eligible adult recipients of chronic home care 

• faith leaders who provide end of life care, care of the deceased, care of those who are unwell or provides pastoral services in vulnerable settings

• residents age 55 years and over are also able to book vaccine appointments at select York Region pharmacies. 

To ensure all appointments are available to those who are eligible, the region encourages residents to book only one appointment per person and cancel any appointments they do not intend to use.