Covid-19 Vacination Information

December 19th, 2020

Dear Patients,

Dear Patient, As you will be aware, Ontario has started to receive and administer the Covid-19 vaccine.  This is an exciting development in the battle to eradicate this brutal virus.  However, we must temper our enthusiasm with the reality that it will be several months or more before we will really start to see any impact on our daily lives.

We wanted to let you know some facts and plans that Ontario has for the rollout of the vaccine but please bear in mind that plans can change at a moments notice.

About COVID-19 vaccines

Safe and reliable vaccines can help protect you and your family from COVID-19. They will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families and workers to safely resume normal life.

On December 9, 2020, Health Canada authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine in Canada. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized after an independent and thorough scientific review for safety, efficacy and quality. Learn more about the vaccine that Health Canada has approved for use in Canada.

There will be a limited supply of vaccines at first, so people who are more vulnerable or at higher risk of infection and serious illness will be prioritized in the roll-out of the early phases of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine program. As new vaccines are approved for use in Canada, they will be more widely available in Ontario.

Until a vaccine is widely available, we all have to continue to follow the public health rules for your region and take everyday actions to help stop the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 vaccination will:

  • work with your immune system to help keep you from getting COVID-19
  • be a safe way to help build protection
  • lower how much of the virus can spread in the population, which will help build herd immunity and stop the pandemic
  • be a personal health choice

We will update you as more details become available

When vaccines will be available?

The health and safety of Ontarians is the province’s top priority.

To ensure the province is prepared to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive over the next several months, Ontario will roll out the vaccines in three phases, focusing first on vulnerable populations that are at greatest risk of COVID-19. The province’s vaccine supply will arrive in stages.

On December 15, 2020, Ontario started to roll out its three-phased implementation plan.

Learn about Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan.

Phase one

As part of phase one, the government is participating in a COVID-19 vaccine readiness pilot with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Two pilot sites, the University Health Network in Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital, have received receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine that they will give to over 2,500 health care workers who provide care in hospitals and long-term care homes.

The province is working with public health units to help prioritize and identify long-term care home staff, and other high-risk staff to participate in this phase of the roll out. On December 15, the readiness clinics began immunizing select health care workers. These clinics are not open to the public and will only be immunizing workers from select long-term care homes and hospitals.

This readiness pilot will help:

  • inform the province’s preparedness plan to receive larger vaccine quantities as it moves forward in phase one
  • test the logistics of delivery, reconstitution of the vaccine, clinic management and post-vaccine surveillance
  • learn from the experiences of those being immunized so these experiences can be shared with sites that will receive vaccine in the coming weeks and months

Key milestones of phase 1

Once the readiness pilot is completed and more vaccines arrive in Ontario, phase one will continue with the following key milestones.

  • Based on per capita allocations, the government expects to receive 90,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the federal government. These doses will be delivered to up to 14 hospital sites in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones in December and will be administered to health care workers in hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings caring for seniors.
  • Once approved, the government expects to receive 35,000-85,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. These doses will allow the province to expand vaccinations to long-term care homes in the Grey-Lockdown areas. The government plans to expand the number of locations that will administer the Moderna vaccine, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, public health units, other congregate care settings for seniors and vulnerable Indigenous communities (pending consultation).
  • In early 2021, additional hospital sites will begin providing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones. The government will continue administering the vaccine to health care workers and, with the appropriate safety protocols, to long-term care home and retirement home residents.
  • The government anticipates that by the end of January, more than 20 hospitals across Ontario will be administering the Pfizer vaccine.

Phase two

When more vaccines become available to Ontario, the province will shift to phase two of its vaccination implementation plan. This is expected to begin later in the winter of 2021.

During phase two, vaccinations will be expanded to:

  • health care workers
  • residents in long-term care homes, retirement homes, home care patients with chronic conditions and additional Indigenous communities, pending consultation

Phase three

Ontario will enter phase three when vaccines are available for everyone who wishes to be immunized. While vaccines will not be mandatory during phase three, people are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

Ontario is ready to receive COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available.

Who will be able to get a vaccine? Who will be vaccinated first?

There will be limited supply in the initial phase of the vaccine program. Some groups will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine first, as recommended by the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. The goal is for everyone to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as enough doses are available from manufacturers.

In the first few months of the Ontario immunization program, early doses of the vaccine will be available for:

  • residents, staff, essential caregivers and other employees in congregate living settings that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19 (essential caregivers provide care services to one resident at a home but are not staff, essential visitors or on-site contractors, an essential caregiver could be a family member)
  • health care workers (including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel.)
  • adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations where infection can have disproportionate consequences, including those living in remote or isolated areas where risk of transmission is high
  • adult recipients of chronic home health care

Please continue to practice good hand hygiene and avoid unnecessary travel if possible. For those who are at higher risk of getting sick from this virus (seniors, or those with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart/lung disease, or undergoing cancer therapy), please take extra caution to avoid large gatherings and close contact with those who are ill.

Thank you


Generations FHC staff