Who have provinces pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks?
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. The military commander handling logistics for Canada’s vaccine distribution program says there will be enough vaccine delivered to give a first dose before Canada Day to every adult who wants one. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says that’s if provinces follow the advice to delay second doses up to four months. He also cautions that it is dependent on having no production delays again. Health Canada anticipates a total of 36.5 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India by June 30. Provinces initially suspended giving AstraZeneca shots to people under the age of 55 based on an advisory committee’s advice, but their recommendation changed on April 23 to reflect that the shot is safe for anyone aged 30 and older. Provinces have yet to move the threshold quite that low, however. There are approximately 31 million Canadians over 16, and no vaccines are approved for anyone younger than 16. Here’s a list of the inoculation plans throughout Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador Three of Newfoundland and Labrador’s four regional health authorities have begun administering the Pfizer and Moderna shots to adults aged 65 and older, and those deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable.” Rotational workers, truck drivers and flight crew are also receiving those shots. The fourth regional health authority — Labrador-Grenfell Health — is vaccinating everyone in Phase 1 and 2 of the province’s vaccine rollout. That includes people aged 60 and older, front-line health-care workers and first responders. Across the province, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being used for people between the ages of 55 and 64. The province said it doesn’t have any immediate plans to lower the age threshold following new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. — Nova Scotia All Nova Scotians who want a vaccination should be able to get their first shot by late June, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang announced on April 9. The original target was September. On April 19, the province announced that people aged 60 and older could book appointments for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is also available for those 55 to 64 years old. The province is also planning to use mobile van clinics to vaccinate about 900 people who work at or use homeless shelters in the Halifax area. Public health is partnering with pharmacists and doctors to provide the vaccines at 25 locations. Nova Scotia, meanwhile, has added front-line police officers to the list of people eligible for vaccination during the second phase of the province’s rollout plan, joining groups such as long-haul truck drivers and hospital workers over the age of 60. — Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Starting today (Apr. 26) people over age 40 can book an appointment to get a vaccine shot. Individuals 16 years of age and older with with underlying medical conditions and women who are pregnant (as well as all eligible members of their respective households) are also eligible to book shots. P.E.I., meantime, has suspended administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people under age 55 due to concerns about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots. — New Brunswick New Brunswick health officials say people 65 and older, a caregiver or a family member acting on their behalf can now make an appointment for a vaccine at a pharmacy. Health-care professionals who have close contact with patients, and people with complex medical conditions are also eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The province says all residents of long-term care homes have been offered at least one dose of vaccine. As of March 19, all residents of First Nations communities aged 16 and older were given access to their first dose of vaccine. Workers who regularly travel across the border, including regular commuters, truckers and rotational workers are also eligible to receive vaccines. — Quebec Quebec has expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines to Montrealers who are essential workers or who have chronic illnesses. Essential workers such as teachers and first responders can now book an appointment after providing proof of employment. Quebec has also opened vaccination appointments for anyone over the age of 60 across the province. Quebecers between the ages of 45 and 79 can now receive an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at walk-in clinics. Officials announced on April 8 the first 13 companies that will operate clinics in their workplaces, with each site able to vaccinate up to 25,000 people between May and August. Participating companies include National Bank, Bell, and Groupe CH, owner of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team. The clinics will be located in eight different health regions and should be operational by May 1. Montreal’s airport authority will partner with Air Canada and Bombardier to create a vaccination hub that will operate two sites at the departure level of the airport terminal and in a nearby Bombardier hangar. — Ontario Ontario has said everyone aged 60 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine, though some local public health units have lowered the threshold on their own. The province has also expanded eligibility for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, saying those 40 and older can start receiving the shot. Shots are available through pharmacies and primary care providers. But Premier Doug Ford’s office noted that provincial officials have warned that the next two shipments of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to the province could be delayed. Ford’s office says he has reached out to “international allies” for help acquiring more supply of the vaccine for the province. Ontario, meantime, has doubled the number of pharmacies involved in the provincial vaccine effort. Some 1,400 pharmacies in COVID-19 hot spots are now offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province says it hopes to add another 100 pharmacies to the vaccine effort by the end of the month. — Manitoba Manitoba is using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for First Nations people aged 30 and up and others aged 50 and up. These are available through a few channels including so-called supersites in larger communities. Health officials plan to continue reducing the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. The province is also allowing anyone 40 and over to get an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through pharmacies and medical clinics, subject to availability. Manitoba has opened its vaccination program to all front-line police officers and firefighters across the province, regardless of age. The province, meantime, has expanded vaccination eligibility to everyone over the age of 18 living, and some working, in three Winnipeg neighbourhoods designated as COVID-19 hot spots. The priority communities include Downtown East, Point Douglas South, and Inkster East. Workers in those areas whose jobs involve dealing with the public, such as teachers, grocery store workers and restaurant employees are among those eligible for shots. Roughly 5.2 per cent of Manitoba’s population has now been fully vaccinated. — Saskatchewan The Saskatchewan Health Authority is currently booking vaccinations for residents 44 and older, however the age eligibility is expected to be lowered to 40 starting Wednesday, Apr. 28. The minimum age for people living in the Far North is already 40. Additional health-care workers are eligible for shots: staff in private doctors’ offices, private digital imaging clinics, community labs and the Saskatchewan cancer agency. The province has also expanded the vaccine delivery plan for people in more vulnerable groups to include all pregnant women and 16- and 17-year-olds who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. Saskatchewan has also dropped the age at which people can receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to 40 from 55, although the premier says there are less than 9,000 doses available. There are drive-thru and walk-in vaccination clinics in communities across the province. However, drive-thru sites in Regina and Saskatoon have been temporarily suspended due to limited supply. — Alberta Albertans born in 2005 or earlier with high-risk underlying health conditions are eligible for shots. The next phase of health-care workers can also book appointments: physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, their office staff, lab workers, practicum students in clinical areas, as well as health workers on First Nations reserves and Metis settlements. Previously, shots have been available to front-line health workers, staff and residents in supportive living facilities, Albertans born in 1956 or earlier and First Nations, Inuit and Metis people born in 1971 or earlier. More than 250 pharmacies are offering immunizations. Ten physicians clinics across the province are also providing shots as part of a pilot project, which could be expanded in May. The province has also lowered the minimum age for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to 40 from 55. Alberta has said it is extending the time between the first dose and the second to four months — although officials said Thursday some cancer patients will be able to book a second dose 21 to 28 days after their first. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said the province expects to offer all Albertans 18 and over a first dose of vaccine by the end of June. — British Columbia The province is lowering the eligibility age for people to register for COVID-19 vaccinations. The Ministry of Health says all adults over the age of 18 are now eligible to register for vaccines through the province’s Get Vaccinated program. Once registered, users receive a confirmation code. They then wait for an email, text or call telling them they’re eligible and can book their vaccine appointment using that code. B.C. has joined other provinces in lowering the age for those eligible to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to 40. Firefighters, police and paramedics, meanwhile, are being vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines alongside staff at schools and childcare centres. As of Sunday, the province reported 1.73 per cent (88,663) of the population had been fully vaccinated. — Nunavut Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older. The territory expects to finish its vaccine rollout of first and second doses by the end of April. — Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories is also providing vaccine to those 18 and older and expects to finish its rollout by the end of April. — Yukon The Yukon government says 71 per cent of the territory’s eligible resident have received their first COVID-19 vaccination as it makes plan for returning students and seasonal workers to get their shots. Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, says students returning to Yukon, along with seasonal workers, would be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine during their mandatory self-isolation, provided they test negative for the virus after taking a rapid test. — This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2021. The Canadian Press