Ready to Rollout Phase Two of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution PlanPublished on March 05, 2021
Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is happening in three phases.
This phased approach is based on expert advice of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and is aligned with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Each public health unit is responsible for implementing a local vaccine plan in keeping with Ontario’s Ethical Framework and guidance provided on the phases of Ontario’s vaccination program.
How that plan is implemented and the specific mix of vaccination approaches will look a little different across the 34 public health units to reflect local needs, populations, and capacity.
Ontario is leading the country in the total number of vaccines administered and has fully immunized more individuals than all provinces and territories combined. Vaccination is substantially complete in long-term care homes, with over 90 per cent of long-term care residents fully immunized.
Some local public health units, based on local context and capacity, have been able to vaccinate individuals aged over 80, before the anticipated start date of mid-March.
By focusing early vaccination efforts on long-term care residents, combined with public health measures, Ontario has rapidly reduced infections and the daily death rates in long-term care homes.
The Ontario government is preparing to move into Phase Two of our COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan next month, with a focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. This approach is designed to save lives, protect those at risk of serious illness and to stop the virus from spreading.
Between April 2021 and July 2021, up to nine million Ontarians will be vaccinated. Groups that will receive the vaccine during Phase Two include:
- Older adults between 60-79 years of age;
- Individuals with specific health conditions and some primary caregivers;
- People who live and work in congregate settings and some primary caregivers;
- People who live in hot spots with high rates of death, hospitalizations and transmission; and
- Certain workers who cannot work from home.
Starting March 15th, Ontario will launch an online booking system and a provincial customer service desk to answer questions and support appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics. This will initially support individuals over the age of 80 as part of Phase One, eventually extending to more groups during Phase Two.
Currently, individuals age 80 or older and who do not live in a congregate care setting may be able to book a vaccine appointment through their public health unit. It is anticipated that the majority of public health units will transition to the provincial booking system once it has launched.
Ontario is working with the pharmacy sector and with primary care professionals to offer vaccinations in primary care settings and community locations in collaboration with public health units. A pilot for pharmacy vaccine administration is planned for mid-March in select regions, including Toronto, Windsor and the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington region, followed by specific primary care pilots in collaboration with public health units.
Health care professionals who are able to administer the vaccine can register and apply through Ontario's Matching Portal.
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