Toronto

Ontario reports 484 new cases of COVID-19 over 2 days, expands vaccine eligibility

Starting Monday, kids 12 to 17 years old will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their second shot of Pfizer through the provincial booking system. 

More than 400,000 vaccine doses were administered Wednesday and Thursday

Mostly young people register for vaccinations at Warden Hilltop Community Centre, Scarborough, on June 29. (Paul Smith/CBC)

Ontario is reporting 484 new cases of COVID-19 from the last two days, as it speeds up second doses to 12 to 17 year olds.

Of the new cases, 284 were recorded on Thursday and 200 on Friday, bringing the new seven-day average to 246 — the lowest it's been since last September. Thursday's data wasn't released yesterday due to the Canada Day holiday.  

The province reported 41 new cases in Waterloo Region, 23 in Toronto and 21 in Peel Region.

Starting Monday at 8 a.m., residents 12 to 17 years old will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their second shot of Pfizer through the provincial booking system. They must wait 28 days between doses, as recommended by the Ministry of Health.

A second dose will ensure teens are protected against the delta variant and can safely return to school in September, the province said.

In Toronto alone, there are 250,000 vaccine appointments available in July, including 65,000 spots open next week, the city says. 

Ontario is on track to "significantly increase" the number of Ontarians who will be fully immunized this summer, said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in a statement Friday. 

Today's count comes as health units across Ontario collectively administered 413,361 doses of vaccines on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total to 15 million.

Some 42 per cent of residents have now been fully vaccinated, surpassing the province's 25 per cent threshold to begin Step 3 of its reopening plan. 

Most of Ontario entered Step 2 on Wednesday, but provincial officials say they want to wait a full 21 days before rolling back restrictions further. 

The province also reported 28 additional deaths over the past two days, bringing the official death toll to 9,196. 

As of Friday, 179 people were hospitalized for COVID-related illnesses, down from 228 Thursday and the lowest since last October. Intensive care units had 252 patients, and 160 were on ventilators.

The new cases come following 25,161 tests completed in the past day. Public Health Ontario logged a test positivity rate of 0.9 per cent. 

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