As the Ontario government moves closer to phase two of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, questions have arisen as to who will be eligible for inoculation as supply increases.
According to the government’s plan announced earlier in 2021, healthcare workers across Ontario are expected to move to phase two of the three-phase plan during April.
Officials have repeatedly stated that the ability to move forward with the plan will depend on the supply of the four approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson).
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As of March 23, more than 301,000 people in Ontario had received the required two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 1,302,000 people had received just one.
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The first phase of the plan, which was still underway as of March 23, prioritized frontline healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and retirement homes, Indigenous adults and chronic home care recipients.
The government simultaneously launched two immunization programs for seniors: appointments for people aged 75 and over (effective March 23) across Ontario through the province’s online portal and a pilot program in pharmacies for people aged 60 and over in three regions.
Who is eligible and how can they make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario
Going forward, the second phase will focus on the following groups of people: those who live and work in high-risk assembly places, caregivers in certain assembly settings, certain primary caregivers, essential front-line workers who people with chronic diseases at high risk and communities at greater risk cannot work from home.
Officials said the top priority groups are people 60 and over, people 50 and over in hot spot areas, people with the most or most at-risk health conditions, and those living in hot spots. high-risk communities. Secondary priority groups are other people with at-risk health problems and essential workers who cannot work from home.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines of March 23, it was estimated that all people aged 60 and over who wanted a dose of the vaccine will have had an opportunity to be vaccinated by the first week of June (depending on supply). Depending on health or other risk factors, this population and others affected should be offered vaccines in April or May. It is estimated that essential workers will not be offered large-scale vaccines until June.
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Here’s who currently qualifies for each of the above categories:
People with health problems
According to documents released by the Ontario government, healthcare workers will begin to prioritize people in descending order of risk groups and vaccination conditions.
– About 442,000 people in this group
– Organ transplant recipients
– Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
– People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (eg motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
– Malignant hematology diagnosed less than a year ago
– Kidney disease eGFR High risk
– About 292,000 people in this group
– Obesity (BMI> 40)
– Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g. chemotherapy, medicines that weaken immunity)
– Intellectual or developmental disability (eg. Down syndrome)
– About 2,200,000 people in this group
– Immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases
– Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
– liver disease
– All other cancers
– Respiratory diseases
– Spleen problems
– Heart disease
– Hypertension with lesions of the end organs
– Diagnosis of mental disorders
– Substance use disorders
– Immunosuppressive health conditions
– Other disabilities requiring direct supportive care in the community
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The government has identified around 400,000 primary caregivers of people who fall under the “highest risk” health condition category who will be eligible for vaccinations.
In addition, caregivers working in Indigenous Developmental Services, Healing and Wellness, Mental Health and Addiction, Special Care Homes and Children’s Residential Facilities are eligible for vaccines.
About 158,000 people from the following communities will be eligible for vaccination:
– Housing with support services
– Developmental services as well as intervenor and assisted living (SIL)
– Emergency shelters for the homeless
– Other homeless populations not in shelters
– Mental health and substance abuse bring communities together
– Homes for special care against violence against women and anti-trafficking residents
– Residential facilities for children
– Youth justice facilities
– Indigenous healing and well-being
– Provincial and demonstration schools
– Agricultural workers who live in collective premises, including temporary foreign workers
– native surety beds and surety beds
– Correctional facilities for adults
There are two groups of people unable to work remotely who will line up for vaccinations.
The first group of workers
– About 730,000 people in this group
– Primary and secondary school staff and bus drivers who transport students
– Workers responding to critical events (e.g., Police, fire, compliance, funerals, special constables)
– Childcare staff
– Approved foster care workers
– Food industry workers
– Farmers and farm workers
The second group of workers
– About 1,400,000 people in this group
– High risk and critical retail workers (grocery stores and pharmacies)
– Remaining manufacturing workers
– Social workers (including those focusing on youth justice)
– Courts and officials of the justice system (including probation and parole officers)
– Low risk retail workers (wholesalers, general goods)
– Transport, warehousing and distribution
– Energy, telecoms (data and voice), water and wastewater management
– Financial services
– Waste Management
– Mining, oil and gas workers
Note: Premier Doug Ford confirmed on March 23 that restaurant workers would be eligible for vaccines, but it was not clear which of those classifications they fell into. He also said he was working to confirm whether taxi drivers would be included on the list.
Ontario Premier Ford says restaurant workers can get vaccinated in phase 2 and will confirm if taxi drivers can
Hot spots and more at-risk communities
The March 5 press release said the 13 public health units, which have recorded high rates of death, hospitalization and transmission, will collectively receive up to 920,000 additional doses of vaccine. It will be up to the following public health units to prioritize vaccines in local hotspots.
– Durham Region Department of Health
– Halton Region Public Health
– City of Hamilton Public Health Services
– Niagara Region Public Health
– Ottawa Public Health
– Peel Public Health
– Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
– Waterloo Region Public Health and Emergency Services
– Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health
– Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
– York Region Public Health
– Toronto Public Health
– Southwestern public health
The plan announced earlier this year indicated that blacks and other racialized communities would also be prioritized for vaccines.
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