Vaccination Timeline and Priority Groups
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Provincial Distribution PlanPriority
PopulationsLocal Task Force &
For timely updates regarding vaccine availability please sign up for WECHU email alerts or watch our regular YouTube updates. Please remember that despite the vaccine rollout, continuing to follow current public health measures is important to ensure you and your loved ones are safe.
Three-Phase Provincial Distribution Plan
We are currently in Phase 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan.
The Government of Ontario has developed a three-phase vaccine distribution plan which sets the order and priorities for distribution for local public health units to follow. The groups selected in each phase are based on an ethical framework established by the province. The Government of Ontario has committed to distributing COVID-19 vaccines to priority populations in the highest risk areas as shipments are received from federal government suppliers.
The Role of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is to:
- Source the supply of vaccines.
- Identify priority groups.
- Allocate and monitor vaccine supply across Ontario.
- Distribute the vaccine supply to public health units.
The Role of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is to:
- Securely store local vaccine supply and ensure cold chain is maintained.
- Coordinate and/or administer the vaccine to identified priority groups.
- Monitor and report local data on vaccine distribution and uptake.
- Coordinate, oversee, and/or hold vaccination clinics to administer the vaccines to Windsor-Essex County residents.
Local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan:
The WECHU’s local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan builds off the 3-phase provincial distribution plan, but is broken down into three stages based on vaccine supply. We are currently in Stage 2 of our local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan.
Priority Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination
The vaccine prioritization described on this website is intended to provide an overview of the groups involved in each phase of the Provincial Vaccine Distribution Plan. Specific sectors identified within the phases will be notified directly by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) or another agency or organization when they are eligible to receive the vaccine. The WECHU is committed to timely communication on vaccine availability and will communicate broadly when there are opportunities to register for the vaccine.
PHASE 1: High-risk population vaccination
Timeline: December 2020 to March 2021.
The following populations will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase of distribution:
- Residents, employees and staff, and essential caregivers of congregate living settings that provide care for seniors,
- Health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization (see live registration forms and more information for health care workers),
- Adults in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations,
- Adult recipients of chronic home health care, and
- Adults 80 years of age and older.
Please note that individuals from Phase 1 who have not yet been vaccinated will continue to be prioritized and eligible for vaccination in Phase 2.
Local Vaccination Sites and Models:
- Windsor Regional Hospital run vaccination clinics
- Mobile teams
- Primary care physicians/nurse practitioners for prioritized groups
- Targeted vaccination clinics
Currently in progress.PHASE 2: Mass deliveries of vaccines
Timeline: Started April 2021.
In accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance for Prioritization of Phase 2 Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination, the following populations will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of distribution. The prioritization for Phase 2 will begin with the Primary Priority and then proceed to the Secondary Priority.
Individuals may be eligible in more than one Phase 2 group. When there is overlap, please follow the earliest vaccination opportunity that is presented. Please note that individuals from Phase 1 who have not yet been vaccinated will continue to be prioritized and eligible for vaccination in Phase 2.
Adults aged 60-79
Individuals with health conditions and their caregivers
- Organ transplant recipients
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
- Individuals with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
- Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
- Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30
One essential caregiver for above individuals
- Obesity (BMI over 40)
- Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
- Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)
One essential caregiver for individuals who require regular and sustained assistance with personal care and/or activities of daily living
Residents and staff of High-Risk congregate settings
- 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
- Indigenous healing and wellness facilities*
- Provincial and demonstration schools
- Farm workers who live in congregate settings, including temporary foreign workers
- Bail beds and Indigenous bail beds
- Adult correctional facilities
*Includes essential caregivers
Adults aged 50 and older living in COVID-19 Hot Spot Communities
- Includes the following Hot Spot Postal Codes:
N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N8H, and N9Y
Remaining individuals with At-Risk health conditions
- Immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders
- Stroke and cerebrovascular disease
- 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
- Immunocompromising health conditions
- Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community
Essential workers who cannot work from home
- Elementary/secondary school workers who are currently working in-person (including educators, custodial, school bus drivers, and administrative staff)
- Workers responding to critical events (including police, fire, special constables, children’s aid society workers, emergency management, critical infrastructure restoration workers)
- Enforcement, inspection and compliance roles (including by-law enforcement, building inspectors, food inspectors, animal welfare inspectors, border inspection officers, labour inspectors / WSIB field workers)
- Individuals working in childcare
- All licensees, employees and students on an educational placement who interact daily with children in licensed childcare centres and in authorized recreation and skill building programs.
- Licensed home child care and in-home service providers, employees of a home child care agency and students on an educational placement.
- Foster care agency workers (including customary care providers)
- Food manufacturing and distribution workers
- Agriculture and farm workers
- Funeral, crematorium and cemetery workers
- Essential and critical retail workers (including grocery, foodbank and non-clinical pharmacy workers, ServiceOntario workers, Service Canada and Passport Canada workers, wholesalers and general goods, restaurant workers, LCBO)
- Workers in manufacturing industries directly involved in supporting the COVID19 response, construction including infrastructure, and other essential businesses and services where facilities are at heightened risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and spread.
- Social workers and other social services staff providing in-person client services (including youth justice workers, OW and ODSP case workers)
- Courts and justice system workers (including probation and parole workers)
- Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (including public transit workers, truck drivers supporting essential services, marine and rail cargo and maintenance, highway maintenance)
- Electricity (including workers employed in system operations, generation, transmission, distribution and storage).
- Communications infrastructure workers (including cellular, satellite, landline, internet, public safety radio)
- Water and wastewater management workers
- Financial services workers (bank branch staff)
- Veterinarians and veterinary teams
- Waste management workers
- Oil and petroleum workers (including those working in petroleum refineries; those involved in the storage, transmission and distribution of crude oil and petroleum products and those needed for the retail sale of fuel).
- Natural gas and propane gas workers (including those working in the compression, storage, transmission and distribution of natural gas and propane)
- Mine workers (including those needed to ensure the continued operation of active mines)
- Uranium processing workers (those working in the refining and conversion of uranium, and fabrication of fuel for nuclear power plants).
Please note that health care providers can use their best medical judgement to administer the vaccine to patients with health conditions not listed in Phase 2 that may put them at similar or greater risk.
Local Vaccination Sites and Models:
- Participating Primary Care Providers who are willing and able to meet requirements
- Participating pharmacies who are willing and able to meet requirements
- Mobile teams based on prioritization
- Targeted vaccination clinics based on the prioritization and vaccine supply
PHASE 3: Steady State
Timeline: Expected to begin July 2021.
When the provincial vaccine stock is further increased vaccinations will be expanded across Ontario to:
- All residents over 16 years of age in the general population who wish to be vaccinated
Local Vaccination Sites and Models:
Mass vaccination sites in Windsor and Essex County
Local Task Force & Prioritization Committee
A local task force membership and a vaccine prioritization committee have been established in Windsor-Essex to guide a safe and efficient rollout of the Government of Ontario’s distribution plan for priority groups and residents of Windsor and Essex County.
Task Force Membership
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
- Municipal Leads
- Hospital Sector Lead
- First Responder Lead
- Primary Care Lead
- Post-Secondary Education Lead
- Indigenous Population Lead
- Home and Community Care Lead
- Pharmacist Lead
Prioritization Committee Membership
- Chief Pam Mizuno (Windsor Police) Services
- Kathleen Thomas (The Multicultural Council of Windsor Essex)
- Karen Waddell (The House of Sophrosyne)
- Dr. Ross Moncur (Erie Shores Healthcare)
- Dr. Suzanne McMurphy (The University of Windsor)
- Elayne Isaacs (The Southern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Center)
- Dr. Wajid Ahmed (The Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex