Pharmacy U

Ontario pharmacies answer the call to administer COVID-19 vaccines!

JamesMorrison professional

by James Morrison


By the end of this week, a pilot including 327 pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor-Essex County and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington public health units will be underway. Wholehealth is immensely proud to have nine of our pharmacies participating in the initial rollout.

Who is eligible to receive their vaccine from a community pharmacy?

The eligibility to be vaccinated at the pharmacy includes anyone who is 60-64 years of age as of the launch of the program or who will be during 2021. Individuals 64 years of age and turning 65 this year are eligible as are individuals 59 years of age who turn 60 in 2021.


How were pharmacies selected?

Pharmacies were selected in the three public health units who were actively participating in the Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP). A call went out to pharmacies and there was a strong response to volunteer. The final list was determined by OPA, the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) and the Ministry and reflects a balance of corporate and independent pharmacy settings.

How will appointments be booked?

Pharmacies will use their own booking systems (e.g., by EMPOWER Health, or others).

What is COVaxON?

COVaxON is a technology platform that pharmacy teams will use to record doses administered, track inventory, create records of immunization, and more.

What supplies are being provided to pharmacies?

Each pilot location will receive 500 doses of COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca. Some of the vaccine has an expiry date of April 2, 2021 so there is urgency to get the initiative underway and put vaccines in arms. In addition, pharmacies will be supplied with required equipment including needles, syringes, gauze pads, bandages, alcohol swabs and sharps containers. Pharmacies may also order PPE from the Ministry’s supply for the purposes of administering COVID-19 vaccine.

How will the supplies arrive to pharmacies?

McKesson Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart will distribute the vaccine and ancillary supplies to pharmacies.

How is the pharmacy compensated for the service?

The reimbursement fee is set at $13 per dose. This compensates the pharmacy for the administration of the vaccine and the administrative work of entering details into COVaxON.

When can additional pharmacies provide COVID-19 vaccine?

Once additional vaccine becomes available in Ontario, the Ministry plans to expand the program to additional public health units with the goal of engaging all pharmacies that wish to participate.

Where can I find the list of participating pharmacies?

The list of participating pharmacies is available here:


James Morrison is Director of Pharmacy Excellence, Wholehealth Pharmacy Partners