BARRIE, ONT. -- Pregnant women at any age are now eligible to register for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

The Ontario government made the announcement Friday, moving pregnancy to the "highest-risk" health condition category for those who qualify for the vaccine.

In a statement Friday, the Ministry of Health said, "In response to emerging data on the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant women, all pregnant individuals will be eligible to register for vaccination appointments under the highest risk health conditions in the Phase 2 prioritization guidance starting today."

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit said pregnant women would not need to provide a letter from a health care professional.

Additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been added to the Sperling Drive centre in Barrie for today, Saturday and Fri. April 30 and Sat. May 1.

Pregnant women can register for an appointment by calling the provincial call centre at 1-888-999-6488, or through the health unit.

Second doses are available 16 weeks after the first shot is administered.

Meanwhile, the health unit said residents 60 and older who have not yet booked their first dose and do so directly online.