Ontario Coronavirus Update (May 12, 2021)

In this series, we’ll be providing Ontario public health and health care updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to learn more about COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 response, and all COVID-19 information.

Ontario continues to expand eligibility to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine to even more Ontarians, with a focus on protecting those most at risk. 

A stable and reliable increase in vaccine supply to Ontario is enabling our government to further expand eligibility to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment throughout the week of May 10.

News Release

Ontario Continues to Expand Booking Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccines to More Ontarians

High-Risk Health Care Workers Eligible to Receive a Second Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine at a Shortened Interval

Who is Eligible to Book their Vaccination Appointment This Week

As of Tuesday, May 11, at 8:00 a.m., individuals with at-risk health conditions (such as dementia, diabetes and sickle cell disease) as well as Group Two of workers who cannot work from home (such as grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers) will be eligible to book a vaccine.

Full List of At-Risk Health Conditions

This list is not exhaustive – health care practitioners will use their best medical judgement to vaccinate patients with health conditions not listed (such as rare diseases) that may put them at similar or greater risk to the listed conditions.

  • Immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders
  • Stroke and cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • All other cancers
  • Respiratory diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy
  • Spleen problems, such as asplenia
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension with end organ damage
  • Diagnosed mental disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Immunocompromising health conditions
  • Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community

Full List of Group Two Workers Who Cannot Work from Home

  • Essential and critical retail workers (including grocery, foodbank, pharmacy, ServiceOntario, ServiceCanada, Passport Canada, wholesalers and general goods, restaurant, LCBO workers)
  • Workers in manufacturing industries directly involved in supporting the COVID-19 response, construction (including infrastructure) and other essential businesses and services where facilities are at heightened risk for COVID-19covid 19 outbreaks and spread
  • Social workers and social services staff who provide in-person client services (including youth justice workers, Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program case workers)
  • Courts and justice system workers (including probation and parole workers)
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (including public transit workers, truck drivers supporting essential services, marine and rail cargo and maintenance, highway maintenance)
  • Electricity (including system operations, generation, transmission, distribution and storage workers)
  • Communications infrastructure workers (including cellular, satellite, landline, internet, public safety radio)
  • Water and wastewater management workers
  • Financial services workers (bank branch staff)
  • Veterinarians and veterinary teams
  • Waste management workers
  • Oil and petroleum workers (including petroleum refineries, crude oil and petroleum storage, transmission and distribution, retail sale of fuel)
  • Natural gas and propane gas workers (including compression, storage, transmission and distribution of natural gas and propane)
  • Mine workers (including those needed to ensure the continued operation of active mines)
  • Uranium processing workers (those working in the refining and conversion of uranium and fabrication of fuel for nuclear power plants)

In addition, effective Thursday, May 13, at 8:00 a.m., individuals turning 40 and over in 2021 in non-hot spot communities will be eligible to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass immunization clinic, through the provincial booking system or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.

Update on Second Doses

By the end of the week of May 10due to increased vaccine supply, we are adding high-risk health care workers to the list of those eligible to book their appointment to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the extended four-month interval. In addition, individuals undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis and all First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the dose interval described in the product monograph or as second dose appointments can be booked.

NOTE: It’s important to remember that a single dose provides significant protection against COVID-19.  Currently, Ontario continues to follow the recommendation provided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to extend to a 16-week interval between vaccination doses for the three two-dose vaccines currently approved by Health Canada (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD).  Extending the interval between doses for up to four months in Ontario, with limited exceptions, has allowed Ontario to accelerate its vaccine rollout and maximize the number of people benefiting from a strong level of protection from the first dose of vaccine. 

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