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Phase 2 of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination plan underway, essential workers scheduled for mid-May

Last Updated Apr 6, 2021 at 1:59 pm EDT

Eligible recipients get their COVID-19 vaccines at a mass vaccination clinic in Toronto on March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario is set to receive approximately 3.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in April as essential workers are scheduled to get their vaccinations in mid-May.

The updated Ontario Vaccine Distribution Plan continues with the original plan laid out to vaccinate those above the age of 60, individuals with health conditions, those in high-risk communities and high risk congregate settings in April and May while people who cannot work from home including teachers and retail workers have been moved up approximately two weeks to mid-May.

As of April 7, people over 60 in all public health can begin booking their vaccine appointment.

The provincial government says they have the capacity to vaccinate 150,000 people a day, but say due to vaccine supply, they are targeting 100,000 vaccines per day.

Ontario has so far averaged 72,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses a day. Over 2.6 million doses have been administered with 18.5 per cent of Ontarians receiving at least one dose.

According to the COVID-19 Tracker Canada project, the province has 1.4 million doses that have not been given out.

Experts in the health-care sector have called on the government to prioritize essential workers who cannot work from home, and often cannot self-isolate if they contract the illness, for the shot.

ICU doctors have said many of the patients they’re treating these days are essential workers who got infected in the workplace.

The Ontario Public School Board Association said the perfect time to vaccinate teachers would be over the spring break starting on April 9 and the measure would help keep kids in classrooms, as fewer teachers would have to miss work due to COVID-19 exposure.

The president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has also said that all schools in hot spot regions should move to online learning until all teachers can be vaccinated.

Premier Doug Ford did say they are working on a plan to get teachers vaccinated with the school boards and Ministry of Health. He said his priority right now is getting the elderly and vulnerable vaccinated, those in hotspot areas and then those who work in essential manufacturing.

The government also released the list of postal codes where additional doses will be allocated due to their status as a hotspot community. People over the age of 50 across of the 13 public health units are being prioritized in those areas.