Ontario to Vaccinate up to 8.5 Million People in Phase Two

General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force / Global Korean Post

 

Ontario to Vaccinate up to 8.5 Million People in Phase Two

 

Jan. 16, 2020

Global Korean Post

 

The Ontario government is preparing to immunize up to 8.5 million people before the end of Phase Two of the government’s vaccine implementation plan, which aims to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians as soon as supply is available.

As recommended by the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and aligned with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province has mapped out the next steps for transitioning into Phase Two and has adopted an approach for identifying the next groups to receive the vaccination as early as March 2021. In order to vaccinate Ontarians as safely and quickly as possible, the government is expanding the list of health care providers who can administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Phase One of the vaccine implementation program is expected to see approximately 1.5 million eligible people vaccinated. Vaccination of residents, staff and essential caregivers of long-term care homes has begun in many parts of the province, with the goal of having the first dose administered in all homes no later than February 15, 2021. The vaccination of all staff and residents in long-term care homes in four areas with the highest rates of transmission, Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor Essex, is expected to be completed by January 21, 2021.

Groups eligible to receive vaccines as part of Phase Two of the Ontario immunization program will include:

  • Older adults, beginning with those 80 years of age and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout;
  • Individuals living and working in high-risk congregate settings;
  • Frontline essential workers (e.g., first responders, education workers, food processing industry);
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers; and
  • Other populations and communities facing barriers related to the determinants of health across Ontario who are at greater COVID-19 risk.

Phase Two is expected to be completed by end of July 2021 and Phase Three for the general population could begin as early as August 2021, pending availability of vaccines. Vaccination of populations in Phase One will continue until all vaccinations are complete.

 

To date, vaccines have been administered at 196 locations. Over 144,000 doses of the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine have been administered across the province, including over 45,000 vaccinations administered to health care workers in long-term care homes and retirement homes, over 77,000 vaccinations administered to hospital workers and over 13,000 vaccinations administered to residents. An additional 20,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in 158 long-term care homes since December 31, 2020.

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