Mar 24, 2021

By Jane Brown

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We’re learning more about who will qualify for a COVID 19 vaccination in phase two of the province’s vaccine plan.

A new and revised document released by the province Tuesday night lays out exactly who will be eligible once phase 2 officially begins in April.

One of the changes has adults over 50 in certain hotspot neighbourhoods eligible for a vaccine, including some areas of the GTA.

In the City of Toronto, public health staff have identified the northwest and certain parts of Scarborough as areas where COVID-19 transmission has been high.

The new guidelines also spell out exactly what sort of conditions will qualify people for a vaccine under Phase 2. Those with health conditions are divided into three groups: highest risk, high risk, and at-risk.

Those in the highest risk category will be prioritized first. They include organ transplant recipients, certain stem cell recipients, those with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised, those with haematological cancers, and those with kidney disease.

The next highest priority group includes those who are obese, those receiving treatments causing immunosuppression, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The third group includes a wide range of conditions, including stroke, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, respiratory diseases, dementia, all other types of cancer, heart disease, hypertension with end organ damage, mental disorders, substance use disorders, sickle cell disease, pregnancy, immunocompromising health conditions, liver disease, spleen problems, thalassemia, and disabilities requiring direct support care in the community.

The highest risk group and their caregivers will be offered a vaccine at the start of April, followed by the next group in late April and the third group in mid-May.

Broadly, adults between 60 and 79, those living in high-risk congregate settings and essential workers who cannot work from home are also among those included in Phase 2.

The first group of workers includes education workers, school bus drivers, food manufacturing workers and others.

The second group includes front-facing government workers, essential retail workers, restaurant workers, social workers, court workers, public transit workers and others.

For a full list of eligible recipients, click here.

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