Province officially begins Phase Two of vaccine rollout

These postal codes have been identified as priorities for Phase Two of the vaccine rollout. Image provided by the Office of the Premier of Ontario.

The provincial government is shifting its COVID-19 vaccination plan into the next gear.

With variant cases rising across Ontario and the “emergency brake” engaged, Premier Doug Ford announced in Toronto Tuesday afternoon that the province is moving into Phase Two of the vaccine rollout plan. The Phase Two rollout will target postal codes in “hot spots” where COVID-19 cases have been rising out of proportion in some neighbourhoods, and where higher-than-average rates of hospitalization and deaths have been taking place.

Southwestern Public Health and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit are on the “hot spot” list, which means under Phase Two, they will receive additional doses of the vaccine.

Starting immediately, people who are organ transplant recipients, hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, neurological patients, as well as people with hematological cancer diagnosed less than a year ago, sickle-cell disease, kidney disease with an eGFR less than 30 will be eligible for a vaccine regardless of age. Those who are essential caregivers to these people are also eligible.

Others who are eligible under Phase Two include people with specific health conditions which make them at high-risk or at-risk, along with primary caregivers; people who live and work in congregate settings and some primary caregivers; and people who can’t work from home, such as school staff, high-risk and critical retail workers, food manufacturing employees, and more.

So far, 2.6-million Ontarians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and Ford said the government’s priority is to make sure more of those vaccines are reaching those who need them.

“Getting ahead of this virus requires action on a few fronts,” said Ford. “That means taking action to slow the spread of this virus and getting more needles into the arms of Ontarians. Building on the work done to protect long-term care home residents, retirement homes, frontline care workers, and our oldest seniors, we are now moving to protect those with highest-risk health conditions and their caregivers.”

By the end of June, Ford said nine million more Ontarians should have received a vaccine.

Complete information on those who are now eligible for a vaccine under Phase Two can be found on the province’s official website.

Read original story from Midwestern Ontario News –