Vaccination Schedule Update

Many of you are wondering how soon you will be able to get vaccinated for COVID. The answer is not as clear as most would like.

Doses are provided at no cost by the federal government but the provinces are responsible for the distribution. Because there are so many variables at play – the exact shipment schedule for Canada to receive approved vaccines, the number of vaccines that get approved, the efficiency of the distribution system, details have been both sketchy and frequently changing.

Ontario, like other provinces, has three stages:

Stage 1: (Now) – Residents and staff at long-term care homes. As of today, residents and staff at Toronto’s long-term care homes have received at least one dose. But the same must be done outside Toronto, and residents of retirement homes are also receiving the vaccine early. The projected date for completion date for long-term care is February 15. Front-line medical workers are also in this phase.

Stage 2: (March to July) – Older adults, beginning with those 80 years of age and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout; Individuals living and working in high-risk congregate settings; Frontline essential workers (e.g., first responders, education workers, food processing industry); Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers;  other populations and communities at greater COVID-19 risk.

Stage 3: (August to December) – The rest of the population who wants to be vaccinated. The situation can change frequently. Today, Pfizer announced a 3-week delay in the delivery of its vaccine. Meanwhile, various jurisdictions are looking at whether to start administering the first dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which initially required second doses 21 and 28 days after the first, and delaying the second dose. Medical experts have said it is okay to delay the second dose to 42 days.