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Who have provinces pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks?

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Apr 27th, 2021

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

Residents who are between the ages of 55 to 64 have access to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

People 65 and older, Indigenous adults, people considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” and rotational workers, truck drivers and flight crew have access to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Nova Scotia

Residents as young as 55 can book an appointment for a Pfizer of Moderna vaccine.

The province continues to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 55-64.

Prince Edward Island

Beginning April 26, people in the province between the ages of 40 and 59 can start booking appointments for a COVID-19 vaccine.

People 16 years and older who have certain underlying medical conditions, pregnant woman and eligible members of their household can also get a vaccine.

New Brunswick

People as young as 65 and older can get vaccinated at pharmacies or at a health clinic.

Individuals 40 years old and older with three or more select chronic health conditions are also eligible.

Quebec

The province has expanded its vaccination rollout to people with chronic illnesses who don’t require regular hospital care as well as to those with intellectual or physical disabilities.

Quebec expanded AstraZeneca availability to people as young as 45.

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.

All front-line police officers, firefighters and health-care workers, regardless of age, qualify as well.

The province is also vaccinating all adults in high-risk areas. Anyone over 18 who lives or works in the northern health region can get a vaccine. And any adult who lives in four Winnipeg neighbourhoods —  Downtown East, Point Douglas South, Seven Oaks West and Inkster East — can get a shot as well. Adults who don’t live in those neighbourhoods but who work there in certain jobs that deal with the public can also get vaccinated. Those jobs include teachers, grocery store workers, food-processing staff and restaurant employees.

Roughly 33 per cent of Manitoba’s adult population has had at least one vaccine dose.

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. 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 2009 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.

For the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the province has lowered the minimum age to 40 from 55.

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.

About 15,000 workers at 136 meat-packing plants across the province can also get shots at on-site clinics, pharmacies and health clinics.

Alberta has said it is extending the time between the first dose and the second to four months. But some cancer patients are 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 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 Monday, the province said about 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines had been administered, with about 89,035 of those being a second dose.

Nunavut

Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older.

It is also offering shots to rotational workers coming from southern Canada.

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.

It is similarly offering shots to rotational workers and mine employees coming from southern Canada.

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 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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