Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19: Vaccine rollout

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Producing a vaccine

Producing a vaccine is complex. It requires significant investments to ensure it can be produced on a large scale with good quality and consistency. Our investments in research will help make sure Canada has faster access to safe and effective vaccines.

Manufacturers manage the process for vaccine production.

Both private and large public investments from governments around the world are being put toward research and development of COVID-19 vaccines.

This partnership between private industry and the public can lead to more affordable and ground-breaking health products for Canada.

Securing enough vaccine

On December 9, 2020, we authorized the first vaccine in Canada for the prevention of COVID-19. Find out about COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in Canada.

We're working to make sure everyone in Canada has access to these vaccines as quickly as possible. This includes working with provinces and territories, as they're responsible for planning and running vaccination programs. The advance purchase agreements we've signed will help us reach this goal.

We're investing in a large selection of vaccines and working hard to make sure vaccine doses are available as quickly as possible after authorization. But it will take time before there's enough vaccine for everyone in Canada. This is why we identified priority populations for the first doses of the vaccines with the:

The Government of Canada will also provide additional support for:

Vaccination for COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are free. They're available to priority populations first. They'll then be available to everyone in Canada who is recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health authorities.

This applies to:

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to:

How many people in Canada have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine

Groups that will get the vaccine first

Stage 1

Stage 1 priority for early COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to groups who are:

  •  at higher risk of severe outcomes of COVID-19
  • most likely to transmit to those at higher risk for severe illness or death

These groups include:

  • residents and staff of shared living settings who provide care for seniors
  • adults 70 years of age and older, with order of priority:
    1. beginning with adults 80 years of age and older
    2. decreasing the age limit by 5-year increments to age 70 as supply becomes available
  • frontline health care workers who have direct contact with patients, including:
    • personal support workers
    • those who work in health care settings
  • adults in Indigenous communities
Stage 2

When enough COVID-19 vaccines and supplies become available to stage 1 groups, stage 2 should offer vaccinations to:  

  • adults in or from Indigenous communities not included in stage 1, including those who live in urban settings
  • residents and staff of all other shared living settings, such as:
    • shelters
    • group homes
    • correctional facilities
    • housing for migrant workers
  • adults 60 to 69 years of age:
    1. beginning with those 65 years of age or older, then
    2. decreasing the age limit to 60 years
  • adults in racialized and marginalized communities
  • first responders, including:
    • police
    • military
    • firefighters
    • coast guard
  • frontline essential workers who can’t work virtually and have direct close physical contact with the public, such as:
    • postal services
    • border services
    • rotational workers
    • grocery store staff
    • transportation workers
    • those involved in the pandemic response
    • food production or manufacturing workers
    • teachers and school or childcare staff not working virtually
  • essential primary caregivers for people who:
    • can’t care for themselves and
    • are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to advanced age (60 years of age or older)
Stage 3

As supply increases and people in previous stages have been offered vaccines, stage 3 should offer vaccines to:

  • people 16 to 59 years of age with an underlying medical condition who are at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19
    • this includes their essential primary caregiver, where applicable
  • adults 50 to 59 years of age without an underlying medical condition:
    1. beginning with adults 55 years of age or older. then
    2. decreasing the age limit to 50 years
  • non-frontline health care workers that:
    • are needed to maintain health care capacity but
    • don’t have direct close physical contact with the public
  • non-frontline essential workers who don’t have direct close physical contact with the public

How Canada chooses groups for early vaccination

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is an independent committee of experts that provides advice to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This advice is then distributed and published to inform decision making by provinces and territories, which are responsible for administering vaccines and deciding which populations will receive them first.

NACI’s recommendations aim to achieve the goal of Canada’s pandemic response, which is to reduce serious illness and death while reducing disruptions in society

The committee chooses groups for early vaccination by looking at risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease and outcomes, such as:

The decision-making process also includes a review of:

These recommendations aim to reduce disruptions in society due to the pandemic by prioritizing those who:

Recommendations are based on:

Provinces and territories may have to adjust their strategy at each stage depending on local trends and transmission rates.

Where to get vaccinated in your province or territory

For information on the vaccination rollout plans in your province or territory, please refer to your provincial or territorial website:

Distributing vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in Canada who are recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health bodies. Doses of the vaccines will be distributed in Canada in phases, which began in December 2020. Assuming the continued supply of safe and effective vaccines, it's expected there will be enough vaccines to immunize everyone for whom vaccines are approved and recommended. We anticipate this will be accomplished by September of 2021.

The following table describes the quantities of COVID-19 vaccines that have been delivered to provinces and territories to date. The total vaccine confirmed distribution table will be updated weekly.

Total COVID-19 vaccine confirmed distribution as of February 25, 2021, at 2pm
Vaccine distribution Pfizer/BioNTech Moderna Total
Total distributed in Canada 1,806,864 630,600 2,437,464
Newfoundland and Labrador 26,520 7,300 33,820
Prince Edward Island 11,115 3,600 14,715
Nova Scotia 47,580 14,400 61,980
New Brunswick 36,075 10,700 46,775
Quebec 404,619 133,200 537,819
Ontario 698,685 204,600 903,285
Manitoba 71,760 28,900 100,660
Saskatchewan 58,305 16,300 74,605
Alberta 208,065 66,900 274,965
British Columbia 224,140 79,200 323,340
Yukon 0 18,900 18,900
Northwest Territories 0 19,100 19,100
Nunavut 0 23,900 23,900
Federal allocationFootnote 1 0 3,600 3,600

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Federal allocation includes doses for Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Armed Forces and Correctional Service Canada

Return to footnote 1 referrer

The following tables describe the allocations of vaccine that are forecasted to be available for provinces and territories over the next number of weeks. These tables are updated as the quantities of available vaccine and the timing of future deliveries are confirmed. Fluctuations from week to week are possible. Allocation forecasts are therefore subject to change on short notice.

Forecasted allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to provinces and territories

Current Pfizer-BioNTech allocations are based on a 6 dose per vial product monograph.

Distribution location 15-21 Feb 22-28 Feb 1-7 Mar 8-14 Mar 15-21 Mar 22-28 Mar 29 Mar - 4 Apr
Total forecasted allocations 403,650 475,020 444,600 444,600 444,600 444,600 444,600
Newfoundland and Labrador 5,850 7,020 5,850 5,850 5,850 5,850 5,850
Prince Edward Island 1,170 1,170 1,170 1,170 1,170 1,170 1,170
Nova Scotia 10,530 11,700 11,700 11,700 10,530 10,530 11,700
New Brunswick 8,190 9,360 9,360 9,360 9,360 9,360 9,360
Quebec 91,260 107,640 100,620 100,620 101,790 101,790 101,790
Ontario 156,780 186,030 173,160 173,160 174,330 174,330 175,500
Manitoba 15,210 17,550 16,380 16,380 14,040 14,040 14,040
Saskatchewan 12,870 15,210 14,040 14,040 12,870 12,870 12,870
Alberta 46,800 54,990 51,480 51,480 53,820 53,820 52,650
British Columbia 54,990 64,350 60,840 60,840 60,840 60,840 59,670
Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Northwest Territories 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nunavut 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Forecasted allocation of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to provinces and territories

Distribution location 1-7 Feb 22-28 Feb
Total forecasted allocations 180,000 168,000
Newfoundland and Labrador 2,500 1,800
Prince Edward Island 700 500
Nova Scotia 4,000 3,000
New Brunswick 3,200 2,400
Quebec 38,200 28,500
Ontario 63,400 47,400
Manitoba 8,100 6,100
Saskatchewan 6,000 4,500
Alberta 18,800 14,100
British Columbia 22,500 16,400
Yukon 4,500 16,100
Northwest Territories 4,700 16,200
Nunavut 3,400 11,000

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