Why get vaccinated
Safe and reliable vaccines can help protect you and your family from covid 19. They will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families and workers to safely resume normal life.
When a large percentage of the population becomes immune to covid 19, the spread of the virus will slow down or stop. This is known as herd immunity.
Herd immunity is different for each disease. For example, to stop their spread:
- approximately 80% of the population must be immune to polio
- up to 95% of the population must be immune to measles
As evidence is evolving on covid 19 and vaccines, additional research is needed to determine how much of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop its spread.
Building immunity takes time
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines approved for use in Canada require two doses, administered a few weeks apart, for your body to develop adequate immunity.
Until vaccines are widely available for everyone to receive two doses and achieve herd immunity, we all must:
Please check back for regular updates as more details are available.
When vaccines will be available
We are rolling out a three-phase distribution plan to ensure Ontario is prepared to receive, store and administer covid 19 vaccines when they arrive over the next several months. It focuses first on vulnerable populations that are at greatest risk of covid 19 and severe illness and those who care for them.
After independent and thorough scientific reviews for safety, efficacy and quality, Health Canada has approved two vaccines for use in Canada:
- Pfizer-BioNTech – approved on December 9, 2020
- Moderna – approved on December 23, 2020
How we will distribute Pfizer-BioNTech vs Moderna vaccines
Both COVID-19 vaccines are fragile and must be stored and transported in special conditions to keep them stable and effective.
While you can store the Moderna vaccine at -20 degrees Celsius, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires colder temperatures, around -70 Celsius. This means the Moderna vaccine is easier to transport and store safely.
Because of this, we plan to administer the:
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine primarily in hospitals in urban areas
- Moderna vaccine in long-term care homes, congregate settings and more rural and remote communities
Vaccine readiness pilot: December 14, 2020
Ontario participated in a covid 19 vaccine readiness pilot with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Pfizer-BioNTech.
More than 2,500 health care workers who provide care in select long-term care homes and hospitals were vaccinated at University Health Network in Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital.
The purpose of the readiness pilot was to help:
- inform our plan for receiving more vaccine doses during phase one
- test the logistics of delivery, vaccine storage and handling, clinic management and post-vaccine surveillance
- learn from people’s experience being vaccinated so we can improve future vaccinations
After the readiness pilot: December 2020 to early January 2021
Based on per capita allocations, Ontario is receiving approximately 90,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the federal government.
These doses are being delivered to up to 17 hospital sites (in addition to the University Health Network and the Ottawa Hospital).
Who can be vaccinated
Vaccines are available to health care workers and essential caregivers who work in:
- long-term care homes
- retirement homes
- other congregate settings caring for seniors
The clinic locations include:
- Grand River Hospital
- Halton Healthcare
- Hamilton Health Sciences
- Humber River Hospital
- Lakeridge Health
- London Health Sciences Centre
- Mackenzie Health
- Michael Garron Hospital
- Ottawa Hospital
- Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
- Scarborough Health Network
- Southlake Regional Health Centre
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
- Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (selected to test the travel logistics in Northern Ontario and support the administration of the vaccine to Indigenous and remote communities)
- Trillium Health Partners
- University Health Network in Toronto
- Unity Health Toronto
- William Osler Health System
- Windsor Regional Hospital
These vaccination clinics are not open to the public.
Expanding beyond the pilot: January 2021 and beyond
Additional hospital sites will begin providing vaccines in regions with the highest rates of covid 19 infection.
Who can be vaccinated
The vaccine will be available to:
- health care workers
- essential caregivers
- long-term care home and retirement home residents
- First Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations, including Métis and Inuit adults
We anticipate that by end of January, more than 20 hospitals across Ontario will be administering the vaccines.
Phase 2 will begin when more doses become available to Ontario. This is expected to begin later this winter.
During phase two, pending consultation, vaccinations will be expanded to:
- all members of the groups in phase 1
- additional congregate care settings (for example, shelters)
- adults over 70 in expanded regions
Ontario will enter phase three when vaccines are available for everyone who wants to be immunized.
Vaccines will not be mandatory, but you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
The federal government has advance agreements with several manufacturers to purchase covid 19 vaccines once the scientific studies are completed and the vaccines are approved for use in Canada.
Ontario is ready to receive and distribute more covid 19 vaccines as soon as they are available.
Who will be able to get vaccinated first
Since there will be limited supply in the first few months of the vaccine program, some groups will be able to get a covid 19 vaccine in the early phases.
Early doses of the vaccine will be available for:
- residents, staff, essential caregivers (including family caregivers) and other employees who work in congregate living settings providing care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from covid 19
- health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals and other health care personnel
- adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations where infection can have disproportionate consequences, including those living in remote or isolated areas where risk of transmission is high
- adult recipients of chronic home health care
As further information becomes available from clinical trials and from Health Canada approvals, the groups for which the vaccines are authorized for use could change.
Ontario will also prioritize regions with the highest rates of covid 19 infection – those in the Red – Control and Grey – Lockdown zones when we receive the vaccines.
These priorities are based on advice from the:
We are also developing an ethical framework to guide our decisions on vaccine distribution. It will be released in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force
The covid 19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is advising Ontario as it plans the immunization program and delivers vaccines.
The task force is advising and providing recommendations on:
- how to deliver, store and distribute vaccines
- support for our partners in the health care system to deliver vaccinations in phases, beginning with vulnerable populations
- clinical guidance to administer the vaccine and track vaccine uptake
- reporting data and technology to provide timely, relevant and accurate information to health care providers, decision-makers and the public
- public education and community outreach efforts to encourage people to get the vaccine
- General (retired) Rick Hillier, former Chief of Defence Staff for the Canadian Forces (chair)
- Mario Di Tommaso, Deputy Solicitor General, Community Safety, Commissioner of Emergency Management (vice-chair)
- Helen Angus, Deputy Minister of Health (vice-chair)
- Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald of Taykwa Tagamou Nation
- Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious diseases consultant and internist, Toronto General Hospital
- Linda Hasenfratz, CEO, Linamar Corporation
- Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s Chief Coroner and Coordinator of Provincial Outbreak Response
- Angela Mondou, President and CEO, TECHNATION
- Mark Saunders, former Toronto Police Chief
- Dr. Maxwell Smith, bioethicist and assistant professor, Western University
- Dr. Homer Tien, trauma surgeon and President and CEO, Ornge
- Dr. Regis Vaillancourt, Director of Pharmacy, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
- Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health
- Matt Anderson, President and CEO, Ontario Health
- Shawn Batise, Deputy Minister, Indigenous Affairs Ontario
- Lynn Betzner, Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs & Associate Secretary of the Cabinet
- Laurie LeBlanc, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transportation
- Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
- Karen Hughes, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Government and Consumer Affairs
- Richard Steele, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Long-Term Care
- Denise Cole, Deputy Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
Rio Tinto smelter workers go on strike in Kitimat, B.C. – Business News – Castanet.net
Approximately 900 Rio Tinto workers at the company’s aluminum smelting facilities in Kitimat, B.C. have gone on strike.
The walkout began today at one minute after midnight. Unifor Local 2301, which represents the workers, had issued a 72-hour strike notice after nearly seven weeks of negotiations.
Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President, says the strike comes down to what he calls “Rio Tinto’s greed and lack of respect” for the union members working at the Kitimat smelting facilities.
The union says it has proposed the first changes to workers’ retirement income and benefit levels in more than a decade, including moving younger workers to defined benefit from defined contribution pension plans.
It also says negotiations have focused on a backlog of more than 300 grievances resulting from the company’s use of contractors and its refusal to hire full-time workers.
Bargaining had continued up until the strike deadline, and the company had earlier said that it was “committed to working with the union to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.”
30 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death reported in Manitoba on Sunday – CBC.ca
There are 30 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba and one more person has died from the illness, the province’s online coronavirus dashboard says.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is now 3.2 per cent, the dashboard says, down slightly from 3.3 on Saturday.
The province is no longer issuing COVID-19 news releases on weekends, which means updates on Saturdays and Sundays come from Manitoba’s online dashboards.
Those data portals offer less information than what’s typically included in a news release. For example, they do not provide any information on the age or health region of people who died from the illness.
Those and other details are expected to be revealed in the province’s next news release on Monday.
There are still 103 Manitobans hospitalized after getting COVID-19 and the number of people in intensive care rose by one to 26, the dashboard says.
Manitoba has now reported 1,172 deaths linked to COVID-19. The province’s seven-day new case average sank to just under 44.
On Saturday, the province did 1,465 more tests for the illness, the dashboard says, bringing the total number of swabs completed since the beginning of the pandemic to 865,786.
As of Sunday, Manitoba has fully vaccinated 66 per cent of its eligible population against COVID-19 while 78.6 per cent have at least one dose, the province’s online vaccine dashboard says.
That brings the province slightly closer to its final reopening plan goal of having 80 per cent with at least one dose and at least 75 per cent with both by Sept 6.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 57,446 people in Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19. The dashboard says 55,719 of them are considered recovered, while 555 are still deemed active cases.
Ontario reports 172 new COVID-19 cases and 2 more deaths; 7-day average remains unchanged – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Ontario reported fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths on Sunday, as the seven-day rolling average remains unchanged from yesterday.
Provincial health officials logged 172 new infections today, up from 170 on Saturday but down from 177 a week ago.
The province reported 192 cases on Friday, 185 on Thursday and 135 on Wednesday.
The seven-day rolling average now stands at 159, unchanged from Saturday but up slightly from a week ago when it was 153.
The province’s virus-related death toll is 9,313.
Another 144 people recovered from the virus yesterday, resulting in 1,450 active cases across the province.
Ontario labs processed 13,902 tests in the past 24 hours, down from 19,131 the previous day.
The drop in testing contributed to a slight day-over-day rise in the positivity rate to 1.1. per cent, compared to 0.8 per cent on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health.
Another 152 lab-confirmed cases of variants of concern were identified in Ontario in the past 24 hours.
In the Greater Toronto Area, 48 cases of COVID-19 were logged in Toronto, 23 in Peel Region, nine in York Region, 11 in Durham and seven in Halton.
There are currently 127 people in intensive care units across the province due to the virus and 81 of those patients are breathing with the help of a ventilator.
To date, there have been more 549,300 lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 538,565 recoveries since January 2020.
Over 8.5 million people are fully vaccinated against the virus after receiving two doses of approved vaccines.
More than 18.9 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Ontario since mid-December, with 103,812 shots into arms yesterday alone.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.
Region of Waterloo reports first daily single-digit COVID-19 case increase since October – CTV Toronto
Biden Faces Fresh Challenges on Covid-19, Economy – The Wall Street Journal
Rio Tinto smelter workers go on strike in Kitimat, B.C. – Business News – Castanet.net
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