How, when and to whom provinces plan to deploy COVID-19 vaccines


Provinces are preparing to roll out the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after its approval by Health Canada on Wednesday, with many hoping to start immunizing high-risk populations like healthcare workers and long-term care residents by the next month. next week.
But many also face logistical challenges in storing the vaccine, which has prevented territories from receiving them.

Here’s a look at plans across the country.


About 3,900 doses of Pfize-BioNTech vaccine will arrive in Alberta next week, and immunizations for critical care doctors and nurses, respiratory therapists and long-term care workers are scheduled to begin on December 16. Since two doses are needed, this means that approximately 1,950 people will be vaccinated.

Since initial doses of the vaccine can only be given to sites where it is delivered – due to the need for ultra-cold storage – the province is not yet able to begin vaccinating patients in facilities. Instead, photos will be given at the two original shipping locations in Edmonton and Calgary.

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The first acute care staff to receive vaccines will come from Foothills Hospital and the Peter Lougheed Center in Calgary, as well as the University of Alberta and Royal Alexandra hospitals in Edmonton. Alberta Health Services will make appointments for these employees to receive their second dose when they receive their first.

The Alberta government says it expects to be able to immunize up to 435,000 Albertans most at risk between January and March 2021.

From January, the following groups will receive the vaccine:

  • Long-term care and some residents and staff living with assistance.
  • Seniors 75 and over.
  • First Nations people living on reserves over 65 years of age.
  • Health workers are most needed to ensure the capacity of the workforce.


L’Ontario adminera its first COVID-19 vaccines next Tuesday at two hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa.

The first vaccines will be sent to health workers in long-term care homes and other high-risk locations, Premier Doug Ford said in a press release.

More details are expected to be provided on Friday, according to the Ford statement.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford examines freezers ahead of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Toronto on Tuesday. (Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press)


Manitoba is expected to receive doses next week and expects to receive enough doses to immunize more than 100,000 people by March 31 of next year.

The first 1,950 doses are reserved for intensive care healthcare workers, the vast majority of whom work in Winnipeg. Over the next three months, additional locations will be established in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Steinbach, Gimli, Portage la Prairie and The Pas.

Details on how the first 900 health workers can make appointments to get the vaccine will be released in the coming days.

Beyond that, the province is still working on details of how it will notify people that they are eligible for the vaccine.

WATCH | Healthcare workers will receive Manitoba’s first COVID-19 vaccines:

Health care workers in intensive care units will be the first in Manitoba to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once the initial doses – enough for about 900 people – arrive in the province next week, Premier Brian Pallister said . 1:54


The vaccine doses will start to arrive in Saskatchewan next week to healthcare workers at Regina General Hospital who provide direct care to patients with COVID-19.

Phase 1 of the province’s vaccine delivery plan – with 202,052 doses expected in the first quarter of 2021 – will focus on healthcare workers, elderly residents in nursing homes, people over the age of 80 years and residents of remote northern communities.

Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout, which will see the general population begin to be vaccinated, is expected to begin in April 2021.

British Columbia

British Columbia Maps on vaccinating 400,000 people against COVID-19 by March 2021, with priority given to residents and staff of long-term care homes and health workers.

As more and more doses of the vaccine become available, priority will be given to people over the age of 80, people with underlying health conditions, underhoused people and people living in communities. remote and isolated indigenous people.

By April, front-line workers, including teachers, grocery store workers, firefighters and people working in food processing plants, will have priority.

As the doses increase, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health administrator, says vaccines will be distributed, gradually lowering the age range of the population.

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The approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will change the lives of many vulnerable Canadians who anxiously await its deployment. 2:02


A limited number of vaccine doses will likely be available In Quebec starting next week.

Patients in residential and long-term care facilities, who accounted for the vast majority of COVID-19-related deaths, will be the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the province as of next Monday. Patients will receive vaccinations on site.

People living in private seniors’ residences and those living in isolated communities, including Aboriginal communities and particularly those located in Nunavik and James Bay, will be the following.

The next groups of people to receive the vaccine will be organized by age group, starting with those 80 and over, then 70 to 79 and 60 to 69, followed by those 60 and under and who have other risk factors.

WATCH | The Quebec Minister of Health presents the vaccine distribution plan:

Residents of long-term care homes and healthcare workers will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Quebec. 1:53

New Brunswick

The first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive in New Brunswick around December 14, with a second expedition before the end of the year.

The first shipment will be delivered to the Miramichi Regional Hospital, said Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, which is leading the vaccine deployment. It was chosen based on its central location, MacCallum said. The hospital – which installed a very low-temperature freezer – can be reached in two or three hours from virtually anywhere in the province, he said.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard has said long-term care residents and staff, healthcare workers, emergency responders and the elderly will be prioritized.

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Colin Furness says even with the vaccine, masks and other restrictions will be needed until the rate of people receiving COVID-19 drops significantly. 4:22

Newfoundland and Labrador

Health Minister John Haggie says the thermal shipper – used to keep vaccine doses at a constant temperature during transport – has arrived in NL Wednesday, with deliveries scheduled for next week.

Haggie said the province’s vaccine committee also met Wednesday morning with “significantly advanced” distribution plans. He said that by the time the vaccine arrives, the province will be in a position to “highlight” the high-risk groups who will receive the first doses.

Prince Edward Island

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Prince Edward Island as early as next week, allowing the province to immunize 1,000 people, starting with the most vulnerable: residents and long-term care staff.

The owner of a tuna processing company in North Lake is loan to province of two lab-approved freezers to help store COVID-19 vaccines.

Crews are working to move two lab-approved super freezers up to -87 ° C from a tuna plant in North Lake, Prince Edward Island, to Charlottetown. The owner of the plant lends them to the province to help store the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for distribution. (Jason Tompkins)

New Scotland

New Scotland expects a 1,950-dose batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this month, with regular weekly allocations starting in January.

The first people in the province to receive the vaccine will be frontline healthcare workers, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said on Tuesday.

Premier Stephen McNeil said Nova Scotia has chosen to target frontline healthcare workers first because they are the ones most likely to pass on to long-term care residents and the elderly .

Currently, the only freezer in the province with temperatures cold enough to store vaccines is in Halifax. As such, the first doses should be administered in the central area. McNeil said anyone selected for priority access who is outside of the Halifax area will be required to receive their dose.

An ultra-low temperature freezer that will store the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen in Halifax. (Government of Nova Scotia)


This first batch of nearly 250,000 doses will be available in Canada before the end of the year, but none will go to the territories.

The North does not have the freezers needed to store the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which the company says requires a freezer at 80 C to 60 C or in a thermal container at 90 C to 60 C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander who is leading the national vaccine distribution effort, said the territories have indicated a preference for other candidate vaccines, “because of the complexity associated with the distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. ”

Dr Michael Patterson, chief public health officer for Nunavut, made similar statements last Friday, saying the territory is more likely to receive Moderna vaccine because of the stringent storage and shipping requirements for the Pfizer vaccine. BioNTech is not suitable for remote communities. He said that Nunavut’s vaccines would come primarily, if not entirely, from Moderna.


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