First responders, teachers among phase two vaccine recipients, expected to begin as early as March

Phase three could begin by July, with all Ontarians gaining access to vaccine

Up to 8.5 million Ontarians are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the close of the province’s phase two.

The Ontario Government announced plans for its second of three phases on Wednesday, with Premier Doug Ford saying it will be an even larger logistical undertaking than the first. Older adults, especially those over the age of 80, will be among the second phase, as will individuals living and working in high-risk congregate settings. Frontline essential workers like first responders, teachers, and those in the food processing industry will also be included in phase two as will those individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers.

Those in phase two can expect to have access to a COVID-19 vaccine as early as March 2021.

“With Phase One of our plan well underway, we’re getting ready to expand our vaccine rollout and get more needles into arms as soon as the supply is available,” said Premier Ford. “We now have a well-oiled machine, led by General Hillier, and we are making tremendous progress. We know this second phase will be an even larger logistical undertaking than the first. That’s why we’re ramping up our capacity on the ground to ensure these vaccines are administered quickly, beginning with the people who need them most.”

More vaccination sites will be added ahead of phase two, including at municipally run sites, hospital sites, mobile clinics, pharmacies, and primary care settings.

Phase two is expected to be completed by the end of July 2021, followed by a phase three that promises vaccines for the general population. Vaccination of populations in phase one will continue until all vaccinations are complete.