The province is expanding who is eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment starting on Friday, April 2.

Area residents 70 years old or older will be able to book their vaccination through the provincial booking system, starting tomorrow. Other groups that are eligible for the vaccine include health care providers (if not vaccinated in their workplace), Indigenous adults, including Metis individuals, and adult home care recipients.

Currently, populations that are eligible for a vaccine, but not aged 70-year-old and older, must complete the Northwestern Health Unit's survey. The information is sent to the Ministry of Health, daily, and those eligible will receive further information about booking appointments. Additionally, First Nations and Metis people are able to book their appointments through their local Indigenous health care provider or health access centre.

Today, it was announced that three area pharmacies are now able to give the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 55 and over.

The No Frills Pharmacy in Kenora, Shoppers Drug Mart in Dryden, the Pharmasave in Fort Frances, and about 700 other pharmacies in the province are now able to provide the shot.

Appointments can be booked through one of the pharmacies.

As of March 31, 2021, at 8:00 p.m., over 81 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than half of residents aged 75 to 79 have now received their first shot.

As of Thursday, April 1, 11,061 doses of vaccine have been administered in the region.