ontario vaccine rollout

Here's the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan in Ontario

Ontario's vaccine rollout plan was announced today by the provincial government and it features three phases — the first of which is set to begin on Dec. 15.

The province announced Friday that phase one of the implementation plan will begin with a pilot project in which over 2,500 healthcare workers in Toronto and Ottawa will receive the Health Canada-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine starting next week. 

The pilot project will see workers in hospitals and long-term care homes vaccinated at University Health Network in Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital.

The results of the pilot will "help inform the province's preparedness plan to receive larger vaccine quantities as it moves forward in Phase One, providing the opportunity to test the logistics of delivery, reconstitution of the vaccine, clinic management, and post-vaccine surveillance," according to a news release from the provincial government.

Following the pilot, phase one will continue with an expected 90,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses received from the federal government and delivered to up to 14 hospital sites in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones in December, based on per capita allocations. 

These vaccines will be reserved for healthcare workers in hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings caring for seniors. 

Then, the province is expected to receive somewhere between 35,000 to 85,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine once approved, and this will enable vaccinations to be expanded to long-term care homes in the Grey-Lockdown areas.

Next, in early 2021, additional hospital sites in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it will be administered to more healthcare workers as well as long-term care home and retirement home residents.

By the end of January, the province says they anticipate that more than 20 hospitals across the province will be administering the Pfizer vaccine.

Phase one will also include an expansion of the Moderna vaccine, with long-term care homes, retirement homes, public heath units, other congregate care settings for seniors, and adults in First Nations, Métis and Indigenous populations set to receive it.

Once the province has received a great supply of the vaccines, which is expected to happen later in winter of 2021, phase two will begin. 

This phase will see vaccines administered to healthcare workers, residents in long-term care homes and retirement homes, home care patients with chronic conditions and to additional First Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations, including Métis and Inuit adults.

Phase three will only begin once the vaccine becomes available for every Ontarian who wishes to be immunized. 

"While vaccines will not be mandated, during Phase Three, people will be strongly encouraged to get vaccinated," reads the province's release.

The provincial government is reminding residents that despite the promising news surrounding the vaccine, it remains critically important that all Ontarians continue following public health advice to protect vulnerable populations and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Keeping everyone safe is our top priority and this vaccine is Health Canada approved and ready to be administered," said Health Minister Christine Elliott in a statement.

"By vaccinating and protecting people who provide essential care in hospitals and long-term care homes, we will decrease the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in these settings. Thank you to our frontline heroes, volunteers, and to all the researchers who made this vaccine possible. As we continue to receive more doses, we will ensure that every person who wants a vaccine will receive one."

Lead photo by

New Brunswick

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