The province has released more details on who will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 2 of the rollout

As previously announced, in Phase 2 vaccines will be made available based on age and risk factors. It will include adults aged 60 to 79 years old as well as groups that have been identified to be more at risk due to living in hotspots, congregate living settings and those who cannot work from home. Those with high risk health conditions are also included and divided into highest-risk, high-risk and at-risk. 

Ontario officials also confirmed that restaurant workers will in fact be included in Phase 2 of the province’s COVID-19 rollout.

Who is eligible in Phase 2.

Older adults

  • Beginning with those 79 years of age and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout
  • Those 60 years of age and older may choose to access AstraZeneca

People who live and work in high-risk congregate settings such as:

  • Supportive housing
  • Developmental services or intervenor and supported independent living
  • Emergency homeless shelters
  • Homeless populations not in shelters
  • Mental health and addictions congregate settings
  • Homes for special care
  • Violence against women (VAW) shelters and anti-human trafficking (AHT) residents
  • Children’s residential facilities
  • Youth justice facilities
  • Farm workers who live in congregate settings, including temporary foreign workers
  • Adult correctional facilities

Caregivers in select congregate care settings

  • Developmental services
  • Mental health and addictions congregate settings
  • Homes for special care
  • Children’s residential facilities
  • Indigenous healing and wellness facilities

Essential frontline workers who cannot work from home

  • Elementary and secondary school staff
  • Police, fire, compliance, funeral, special constables and other workers responding to critical events
  • Childcare and licenced foster care workers
  • Food manufacturing workers
  • Agriculture and farm workers
  • High-risk and critical retail workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Remaining manufacturing labourers
  • Social workers, including youth justice
  • Courts and justice system workers, including probation and parole
  • Lower-risk retail workers (wholesalers, general goods)
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution
  • Energy, telecom (data and voice), water and wastewater management
  • Financial services
  • Waste management
  • Mining, oil and gas workers
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions

Highest risk

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (for example, motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30

High risk

  • Obesity (BMI over 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (for example, chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (for example, Down Syndrome)

At risk

  • Immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders
  • Stroke and cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • All other cancers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Spleen problems
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension with end organ damage
  • Diagnosed mental disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunocompromising health conditions
  • Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community

This list is not exhaustive – health care practitioners will use their best medical judgement to vaccinate patients with health conditions not listed (such as rare diseases) that may put them at similar or greater risk to the listed conditions.

Primary caregivers for:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30

Communities at greater risk

  • Black and other racialized populations
  • Hot spots with historic and ongoing high rates of death, hospitalization and transmission

The province updated its guidelines regarding vaccinating those in hotspot communities, adding an age stipulation of 50 and older — starting with the oldest residents and decreasing in age until reaching those aged 50. With most public health units within the GTA contain hotspot areas, adults 50+ in the highest risk communities will be offered vaccines in April while those in the remaining hotspot communities will be offered vaccines in May.

Phase 2 officially runs from April to July and will include 9 million people, according to the provincial plan. Phase 3, where any adult below 59 years old can get a shot, is officially set to begin in July.

However officials have said that the program is expected to progress more quickly, with vaccines expected to arrive in larger quantities and with the adoption of a policy spacing out first and second doses four months apart.

Vaccines will be distributed through mass vaccination clinics, pharmacies, primary care, site-specific clinics, mobile teams, mobile sites, public health units.

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