Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario announces who’s next in line for COVID-19 vaccines

Coronavirus: Ontario expecting shorter timeline for COVID-19 vaccine rollout
Coronavirus: Ontario expecting shorter timeline for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

With the overwhelming majority of residents in Ontario’s long-term care homes now vaccinated, the province on Sunday announced which groups are next in line to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

According to a memo sent from the province’s vaccine taskforce to Ontario’s medical officers of health and hospital CEOs, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes, as well as residents of those settings not yet inoculated are the immediate priority for first-dose vaccination.

Also on the top-priority list are hospital patients who have confirmed admission to a nursing home; those designated highest or very high-priority healthcare workers; and Indigenous adults in remote and higher-risk communities.

Once those vaccinations have been administered, the remainder of the Phase One populations will be eligible for first-dose vaccines. That group includes adults 80 or older; staff, residents and caregivers in seniors’ assisted living settings; healthcare workers designated high priority; all Indigenous adults; and adult recipients of chronic home care.

Sunday’s memo also indicates that second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be administered between 35 and 42 days after the first dose, except for residents of long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes; residents of other congregate care homes for seniors; and those 80 and older, who should all receive their second dose between 21 and 27 days after the first.

Ongoing vaccine shipment delays forced the province to concentrate its inoculation efforts on long-term care residents in recent weeks.

In Ottawa, more than 38,000 vaccine doses have been administered. Among long-term care home residents in the city, 96.5 percent have, according to Ottawa Public Health, received their first shot, while 91 per cent have had the second.

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