Despite Delta, Canada welcomes back fully vaxxed U.S. citizens, permanent residents

Here’s what provinces and territories are saying about the COVID-19 vaccine plans

TORONTO — The federal government says the largest mass immunization effort in Canadian history could begin as early as next week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa expects to receive up to 249,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. Its approval is said to be imminent.

The second vaccine in line for approval in Canada is from Moderna.

The Canadian military will have a role to play in vaccine distribution. Various provinces have started spelling out their plans as well.

Here’s a look at what they’ve said so far:


Newfoundland and Labrador

Premier Andrew Furey says he anticipates receiving 1,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the St. John’s receiving site next week.

The announcement comes as Furey told reporters Monday that the province would remain outside of the Atlantic “bubble,” meaning all visitors to the province must self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they come from Atlantic Canada.

The province announced no new cases on Monday, but the town of Harbour Breton was on high alert as officials were still trying to chase down the source of an infection announced in the region over the weekend.

Furey says the province expects another shipment of the vaccine later in the month.


Nova Scotia

The province’s chief medical officer of health says he will release a detailed plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once Ottawa shares more information.

Dr. Robert Strang says there is no certainty yet about the availability of a vaccine, but expressed hopes an initial supply will trickle into Nova Scotia early in the new year.

Strang says the plan will include tight control of the supply and clear rules dictating who can be first in line for immunization.

He says he’s waiting for more federal guidance on issues ranging from priority groups to transportation and storage logistics.



Quebec says the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine could be administered in the province as early as next week.

Health Minister Christian Dube says the province plans to give its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to about 2,000 people in long-term care homes.

In a technical briefing before a Monday news conference, public health experts said residents of long-term care homes and health-care workers would have first priority to receive the vaccine.

The groups next in line are people living in private seniors residences, followed by residents of isolated communities and then anyone aged 80 and over.

Dube says Quebec also expects to receive enough Pfizer vaccines between Dec. 21 and Jan. 4 to vaccinate 22,000 to 28,000 people.



Premier Doug Ford says vulnerable seniors, their caregivers and health-care workers will be among the first to receive a vaccine.

Adults in Indigenous communities, residents of retirement homes and recipients of chronic home health care will also be considered priority groups.

But it may be April before the shots are widely available to others.

Retired general Rick Hillier, who is leading Ontario’s vaccine task force, says the province should be able to vaccinate 1.2 million people during the first three months of 2021.

The province says it will also be prioritizing the rollout of the vaccine in regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection, including those in the red “control” and grey “lockdown” zones.

The announcement comes after Ontario reported 1,925 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.



Government officials say they’ve been assembling the necessary people and equipment to set up a large-scale “super site” to deliver the vaccine as soon as it is available.

Premier Brian Pallister says the province has also purchased the necessary supplies to administer two doses of the vaccine to every person in the province.

The first freezer able to store the Pfizer vaccine at low temperatures has been delivered and installed, with another four on the way.

As the vaccine supply from the federal government expands over the coming months, the province says it will become more widely available in a larger number of sites, similar to a conventional vaccination campaign, such as the annual flu shot.



Premier Scott Moe says Saskatchewan is ready to receive doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with the province set to reveal its distribution plan later today.

Moe says the province has an ultra-low-temperature freezer required to store the product.

Vaccinations will happen in a staggered approach, with the plan being to inoculate health-care workers and vulnerable residents, such as seniors living in long-term care homes.



Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta expects to start getting COVID-19 vaccines in the first week of January.

High-risk patients and health workers will get them first.

Kenney says his government has struck an interdepartmental team to roll out the vaccines from 30 different locations in the province.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, has said the province is expected to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year, a figure not yet confirmed by the federal government.


British Columbia

The provincial health officer says British Columbia is expected to receive its first doses of the vaccine next week, adding that she hopes Health Canada will soon approve its use.

The first doses will go to health-care workers and elders living in long-term care, Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Provincial officials are expected to provide more information about the rollout of the vaccine in the coming days.



Premier Sandy Silver says the territory has been in discussions with various levels of government on a vaccine rollout plan.

He says the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers.

Silver says rural and remote communities should also get priority status in northern regions, a fact he says he’s emphasized with federal authorities.

The premier says he has joined the other provincial and territorial leaders in pushing for a national strategy to distribute the vaccine.

Silver says the Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements, but those issues may not apply to other vaccines under development.


SOURCE: The Canadian Press

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