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List of priority populations for Phase 1 of Ontario's vaccine distribution plan

Last Updated Feb 14, 2021 at 6:24 pm EDT

The Ontario government has issued a memo to the province’s regional medical officers of health spelling out who’s next in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The province offered new guidance to regional medical officers of health as supply of the COVID-19 vaccines starts to gradually increase.

The province says all residents of long-term care homes have had an opportunity to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Those remaining in the immediate priority groups for the first dose are set to receive their vaccine dose next.

Those include:

Staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes. 

Patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors.

Highest-priority health-care workers — such as paramedics and staff in critical care units, emergency departments and COVID-19 medical units — followed by very high priority health-care workers — such as those in surgical care, obstetrics, assisted living facilities and palliative care settings. These categories are laid out in the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care worker prioritization.

Indigenous adults in northern, remote and higher-risk communities, including on-reserve and urban communities.

The government says the next groups in line for a vaccine will receive their shots “when all reasonable steps have been taken to complete first-dose vaccinations” for the first priority group. They include:

Adults 80 years of age and older.

Staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors.

Health-care workers who the Ministry of Health as categorized as “high priority,” such as staff in mental health and addictions services, and sexual health clinics. 

All Indigenous adults.

Adult recipients of chronic home care.

The province also laid out intervals for when to administer the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Those who live in long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes should get the second dose 21 to 27 days after receiving the first, as should residents of other types of congregate care homes for seniors and people 80 years and older. 

Everyone else should receive the second dose between 35 and 42 days after getting the first shot. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2021. 

The Canadian Press