All Canadians to get vaccinated in third stage
Shady Salah – Media in Toronto
Canada has started its three-phase vaccination program, where all Canadians will be vaccinated in the third and final stage. This came after Health Canada had approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, the second being made available to the public. It’s up to each individual province and territory to decide how the vaccine will be administered. But generally, they are following the recommendations put forward by the federal government’s National
Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The advisory committee made these recommendations using experts in
the fields of pediatrics, infectious diseases, immunology, pharmacy, nursing, epidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, social science and public health.
According to the recommendation the priority to give the shot will be to residents and staff of long-term care homes, adults 70 and older, beginning with people 80 and older, then decreasing by five-year increments to 70 as supply becomes available, health-care workers, including all those who work in clinical settings, and personal support workers who come in direct contact with patients, adults in Indigenous communities, where infection can have disproportionate consequences.
For Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout, NACI recommended that recipients include:
– Health-care workers who are not part of the initial rollout.
– Residents and staff of all other congregate settings (e.g., living quarters for migrant workers, correctional facilities, homeless shelters).
– Essential workers, including police, firefighters and those in food production.
By the second phase, vaccines should become more widely available at more sites, including hospitals and potentially some pharmacies. For the third phase, family doctors’ offices and pharmacies will likely offer the vaccine. Hillier said that getting a COVID-19 vaccine during this period should be no harder than getting a shingles or flu shot. Ontario health officials released the province’s ethical framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, guding the prioritization of future phases of the plan.
“This ethical framework is a clear demonstration of our commitment to Ontarians to be transparent,” said General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. “We know that people
are eager to get vaccinated and this framework helps ensure that we do it in an ethical, effective and compassionate way.” The framework will come into play as the province progresses through the three phases of its vaccination plan, giving experts and policymakers a clear road map for which groups of people to next prioritize. Currently, long-term care healthcare workers, those living in long-term care, high risk Indigenous groups, and those receiving chronic
home healthcare are prioritized in phase one.
Phase one of Ontario’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan began on December 15 at two hospital sites and expanded to include 17 others a week later.