PEMBROKE, ONT. -- The Renfrew County and District Health Unit says it has received a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from the province, which will allow it to ramp up its local vaccine delivery in the region.

"This means that residents aged 55 years of age and over will be able to book vaccination appointments at Renfrew County and District’s public clinics, in addition to local pharmacies, weeks before they originally would have been able to receive their vaccine at a public clinic based on age group eligibility," the RCDHU said in a release.

The RCDHU is not using the provincial booking system for any vaccine appointments at its community clinics. All appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be booked online through the Renfrew County and District COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System at

"Appointments using AstraZeneca will be clearly identified as part of the booking process since there are age restrictions for its use," the health unit said.

If you cannot register online, call RCDHU at 613-735-9724 or 1-800-267-1097 ext. 200. Please leave one message only with your name and number.

“While we recognize that there is some public hesitancy regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, we must remember that this vaccine is the driver of Britain’s highly successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign and, to date, no cases of adverse events following immunization have been reported in Canada,” said Dr. Robert Cushman, Acting Medical Officer of Health for the RCDHU. “I, for one, will be getting the AstraZeneca vaccine at my vaccination appointment this week and have no concerns in doing so based on the studies and research that have taken place.”

The RCDHU said in its most recent COVID-19 vaccine news brief that 17,648 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in the region as of April 4.

A dozen pharmacies across Renfrew County were identified by the province Sunday in an expanded list of locations that would be offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to residents 55 and older. The dates that these pharmacies would begin offering doses has yet to be announced. The province said to check its list of eligible pharmacies online for updates.