Key Groups for Distribution of Initial COVID-19 Vaccines

Published on December 10, 2020

The government is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are received and approved, beginning with vaccinating the province’s most vulnerable.

As recommended by the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province has identified key populations to receive the vaccine first, including long-term care residents and the staff who provide care to these groups.

The government’s approach is informed by science and prioritizes population groups that are at the greatest risk of COVID-19.

Groups receiving the early vaccine doses in the first few months of the Ontario immunization program will include:

  • Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-term care homes, retirement homes) that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19;
  • Health care workers, including hospital employees, staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel;
  • Adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities, including remote communities where risk of transmission is high; and
  • Adult recipients of chronic home health care.

Ontario will also be prioritizing the rollout of the vaccine in regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection, including those in the Red-Control and Lockdown zones. The immunization program will focus on heath care workers and the most vulnerable populations in those regions.

As further information is made available about the various type of vaccines and availability of doses, additional details related to the implementation of the COVID-19 immunization program will be provided based on the latest medical advice and scientific evidence.

It remains critically important that all Ontarians continue following public health advice to protect our communities and most vulnerable populations, and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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