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A sign encouraging vaccination is seen at the doors of a pub as staff watch patrons arrive in Ottawa on the first day of Ontario's first phase of re-opening on June 11, 2021.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The Ontario government is shortening the amount of time residents who received an initial dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should wait before getting their follow-up shot.

The government had previously said AstraZeneca recipients should wait 12 weeks before getting a second shot, despite shortening the interval for all other vaccines.

But it amended the guidance this afternoon, saying residents can now get a dose of any type of vaccine as early as eight weeks after their first AstraZeneca jab.

Ontario reports 502 new COVID-19 cases

Ontario is reporting 502 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, as well as 15 additional deaths from the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 89 of the new infections were recorded in Toronto, 71 in Peel Region, 51 in Waterloo, 37 in York Region and 31 in Durham Region.

She says the numbers come from nearly 24,100 tests completed since the last daily report.

Provincial data show 447 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, including 422 in intensive care and 277 on ventilators.

The province says 195,032 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the last day, for a total of 11,022,452 shots given so far.

Ontario entered the first stage of its economic reopening yesterday, allowing patio dining and outdoor fitness classes to resume, among other changes.

Quebec reports 182 new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations down to 227

Quebec is reporting 182 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths attributed to the virus, but none in the past 24 hours.

It was the seventh straight day on which daily infection rates came in below 200.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 17 to 227, while the number of patients in intensive care held steady at 59.

There are 1,970 active cases in the province, dipping below the 2,000 mark for the first time since last September.

Last week, authorities announced that as of Monday, all regions of the province will see their pandemic-alert levels at either yellow or green.

The province administered 103,610 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, adding says 77 per cent of residents have received a first dose while 11 per cent have received two doses.

Quebec has reported 372,838 infections, 11,170 deaths and 359,698 recoveries since the beginning of the pandemic.

Elsewhere in Canada

  • Nova Scotia is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19 and five recoveries, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 145. Health officials say half the new infections are in the Halifax-area, with four considered close contacts of previously confirmed cases and one related to travel. They say four cases are in the province’s eastern zone, of which three are related to previous cases and one is under investigation. Western Nova Scotia has one new case of COVID-19 related to travel. The province says 10 people are in hospital with the virus, including six in intensive care.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today and 20 recoveries, bringing the active case count to 40. Health officials say one case is a male under the age of 20 in the Central Health region, adding his infection is related to travel. They say a second case is a man in his 40s connected to a previous case in the Western Health region. Official say the remaining four cases are all males under the age of 20 in the Western Health region, which are connected to a cluster in that area.

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