Who do provinces have pegged to receive vaccines in coming weeks?
By The Canadian Press
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies gradually ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks.
Here’s a list of their plans to date:
Newfoundland and Labrador
The province says Phase 1 will see priority health-care workers and staff at long term care homes get immunized first.
Other priority groups will be offered the vaccine once logistics allow.
The provincial website says the first phase of vaccines will be given to residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.
The next phase will include anyone who works in a hospital and may come into contact with a patient, community health-care providers such as dental and pharmacy workers, correctional facilities, shelters, temporary foreign worker quarters and those working in food security industries.
The third phase will include all Nova Scotians going down in five-year increments.
Prince Edward Island
The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included.
The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers.
The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall.
The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March.
The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees.
The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots.
The province’s proposed order of priority for vaccination according to its website is those in residential and long-term care centres, workers in the health and social services network, followed by those in isolated and remote communities, people 80 years or older, and then the general population in 10-year increments.
It says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations.
The province’s health minister says Ontario is not ready to release a detailed plan for its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines because its supply of the shots has been unreliable.
Christine Elliott says the province knows which age groups it wants to prioritize but delayed deliveries and unclear levels of future supply mean its tentative immunization schedule has been changing.
The province has previously mapped out a three-phase approach to its rollout.
Phase 1, which is still ongoing, reserves shots for those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers, and people who live in congregate care settings.
The province announced last week that all Indigenous adults and adults receiving chronic home care will be next in line once all reasonable efforts to immunize the highest priority groups have been made.
Health officials plan to start having COVID-19 vaccines available for the general population, beginning with people over 80, in March.
Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of the province’s vaccine task force, says vaccination teams will focus on long-term hospital patients and people who live in supportive housing where they are assisted with their daily needs starting next week.
She says the next phase, taking place over March and April, will involve a wider swath of health-care workers, people in jails, shelters and other group settings, and the general population over the age of 80.
She says inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if new vaccines are approved and supplies are steady.
The plan does not include a separate category for essential workers — something that Reimer says will be considered as vaccine supplies increase.
The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area.
The province says based on information provided by Health Canada, the combined quantities of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines expected by the end of March will allow less than half of those priority populations to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age.
It says once vaccine supplies allow phase one priority populations to be fully immunized, Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments.
The government’s website says the province will be offering second shots of the COVID-19 vaccine within 42 days after initial doses are administered.
Initial immunization efforts have focused on long-term care residents and certain health-care professionals, with plans to expand vaccine offerings by the end of the month.
While the exact dates and details have not been hammered out, February will see seniors over 75, First Nations, Metis and people 65 and older living in a First Nations community start to receive their vaccines.
Work is underway to identify target populations for future phases of the provincial rollout.
B.C.’s plan reveals that after the most vulnerable groups have been immunized, shots will be given out according to age, with the oldest residents first in line.
Currently hospital workers, those living in Indigenous communities, and long-term care residents, staff and essential visitors are among those being vaccinated in Stage 1 of the province’s plan.
Stage 2 will include people 80 and older, Indigenous seniors over 65, general medical practitioners and specialists.
In April, the province will start vaccinating the general public according to five-year age groupings, starting with seniors aged 75 to 79 before moving on to those aged 70 to 74 and so on.
But Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the approval of more vaccines may mean the province’s plan could be revised to immunize essential workers between April and June.
The government website says Nunavut expects enough vaccines to immunize 75 per cent of its residents over the age of 18 by the end of March.
Details have not yet been released about how the rest of the territory’s inoculation drive will work.
The first phase of the vaccine is underway with priority for those over the age of 60, people who have existing chronic disease and comorbidities, resident workers who live in the territories but regularly work elsewhere or live in work camps, and those in remote communities.
The government website says the rest of the eligible adult population can expect to get the vaccine starting in March.
The government website says it has vaccinated high risk health-care workers, adults 70 and older, and people who are marginalized and living in group settings.
Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley says uncertainty about the arrival date of the next vaccine shipment has forced a delay in a planned immunization clinic for the general public in Whitehorse.