Essential workers, racialized recommended for stage two of vaccination campaigns

Federal advisory committee is recommending essential workers, racialized people be added to the second stage of provincial vaccination campaign, expected to start sometime this spring. 

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has updated its guidance on vaccination priorities to include adults from racialized communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and all essential workers, in the second stage of the vaccination campaign.

The second stage is expected to start this spring after provinces get COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of all the staff and residents of long-term care homes, adults aged 70 or older, front-line health workers and adults in Indigenous communities.

The committee added a third stage to its immunization recommendations that includes people between 16 and 59 years old with underlying conditions, those who are between 50 and 59 years old with no underlying conditions, and health workers and essential workers who are not vaccinated yet.

The new recommendations prioritize racialized adults from groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic ahead of some older non-racialized people.

Health authorities in the provinces and the territories make the actual decisions on who gets vaccinated first.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it expects Pfizer and BioNTech to deliver more than 400,000 doses of their COVID-19 vaccine this week and about 450,000 doses each week until April.

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