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Distressing that seniors not a priority for COVID-19 vaccine

UPDATE: General Hillier, chair of Ontario’s Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, provided new information during the premier’s news conference on Jan. 13. He said that phase two would begin by early April and that seniors would be offered vaccination early in this phase, starting with those 80 and over, then 75 to 79, then 60 to 74.

To the Editor:
Seniors are not a priority for COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario. While federal guidelines assign seniors age 70+ to phase one of the vaccination program, Ontario has downgraded seniors to phase three, along with the rest of the general population. Phase three is projected to start in August, after at least 12 million people across Canada have been vaccinated.

This is distressing, considering that seniors have at least 30 times the expected mortality if infected with COVID-19 as compared to people under age 50. This is why the federal guidelines assign seniors to phase one.

Note: There is a vaccine queue calculator being circulated, based on the federal guidelines. It does not apply to seniors in Ontario.

See References below for documentation.

From MPP Todd Smith’s office:

“Phase one is expected to roll out from now until April. Phase 2 will be April to July with Phase 3 from August and beyond. As more supply becomes available then that could speed things up.

“Mr. Smith has confidence in the role of team and General Hillier and the plan they have created. As we find out more about the supply of vaccines and the dates they will be able to reassess and be prepared. Not to mention when going into phase 3 there would be priority within that phase as well as there has been thus far in every other phase.”

1. Federal guidelines from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI):

2. Vaccine queue calculator for Canada based on NACI guidelines (not applicable to seniors in Ontario):

3. Ontario’s vaccination plan, with seniors being assigned to phase 3:

4. Case fatality rates by age group in Ontario:

Gary Mooney
Prince Edward County


Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. SM says:

    Please read this from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health:
    As of Jan 18/21 HPEPH indicates that 79 doses of the vaccine have been administered. This would be under phase 1 which means people who are at the highest risk: residents and workers in Long Term Care followed by hospital workers, First Nation communities and chronic home care patients. It is not until phase 2 there will be vaccine for “older adults”in the general population. HPEPH also states, that this health unit is a low priority area in the vaccine distribution scheme so we will receive limited amounts of the vaccine.
    This reference is to Ontario’s Distribution Plan as of Jan 13/21:
    Note that it includes seniors beginning with those over age 80 in phase 2. If vaccines are received as hoped, this phase will begin in April. As HPEPH notes preference will be given to the ‘hot zones’ in phase 2 as well.

  2. KB says:

    All your material and references are open to interpretation however many PEC seniors have already received the first dose, and the roll out is targeting the most vulnerable population. Facts are facts.

  3. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Phases 1 and 2 include vaccination of our most vulnerable senior citizens.

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