TORONTO – The Ontario government has announced updates to its COVID-19 vaccination plan, saying all teachers in high-risk neighborhoods will soon be able to get vaccinated.
As of April 12, the premier said education workers across the province who provide daily support to students with special needs will now be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, all education workers in high-risk neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel Region will be able to get the vaccine.
“If vaccine supply permits, eligibility will expand to high-risk neighborhoods in other sensitive areas, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham,” the province said in a statement on Wednesday.
The news comes as teachers’ unions and advocates have called on the province to extend vaccine eligibility to education workers as the province chooses to keep schools open amid a growing number of cases of disease.
Schools in Toronto and the Region of Peel are currently closed until at least April 18 after local medical officers of health in both regions used their powers under the Health Promotion and Protection Act this week. to suspend in-person learning.
Vaccines to be offered to certain people over 18 in high-risk neighborhoods
The province also added that some people living in areas with the highest transmission rates of the disease would be prioritized to receive a vaccine, starting in the highest-risk areas of Peel and Toronto.
The government said it was targeting regions based on “established patterns of transmission, severe disease and mortality.” Some priority neighborhoods have already been identified, including the following sectors:
The province said it was setting up mobile teams and pop-up clinics to target high-risk gathering places, residential buildings, faith-based establishments, community centers and locations occupied by large employers in the provinces. sensitive neighborhoods.
Premier Ford has said people over 18 in these settings would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We go to high priority neighborhoods literally knocking on doors to attract people,” Ford told reporters on Wednesday.
“The plan is to put needles in people’s arms. We go to places of worship, we go to businesses, we go to neighborhoods and we focus on those neighborhoods. “
Officials said the province will also expand appointment bookings for the COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 50 and older in high-risk neighborhoods from Friday.
“Reservation eligibility will be extended to include people aged 50 and over for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at mass vaccination clinics in high-risk areas identified by zip code, using the provincial reservation system, ”the province said.