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Ontario is opening up eligibility for fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses to those aged 60 and older, starting Thursday. Here’s what you need to know about booking a booster shot in every province

A person sits in the waiting area at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Mississauga.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

More than 80 per cent of Canada’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but as new subvariants of Omicron spread nationwide, health officials have tried to shore up immunity with new doses, or boosters, to prevent serious illnesses. Most Canadians are already eligible for third doses, but now provinces are beginning to consider fourth shots based on new guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Consult our vaccine tracker to see how many doses have been administered in each province and territory and the cases counts, hospitalizations, and ICU numbers across Canada.


Vaccine rollouts by province

The first Newfoundlander injected: Public-health nurse Ellen Foley-Vick on Dec. 16.Sarah Smellie/The Canadian Press

Newfoundland and Labrador

One of the first three islanders vaccinated: Debbie Lawless, a registered nurse at a Charlottetown nursing home, on Dec. 16.Brian McInnis/The Canadian Press

Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

The first Quebecker injected: Gisèle Lévesque, an 89-year-old resident of a Quebec City long-term care home, on Dec. 14.PATRICK LACHANCE/MCE/AFP via Getty Images

Quebec

  • Official page: Check Quebec’s coronavirus information page and its guide to the vaccine rollout specifically.
  • The plan so far: Everyone five and older is eligible for vaccination, and some regions have walk-in clinics that operate depending on the supply of doses available. Parents can get their five- to 11-year-olds vaccinated either by bringing them to a walk-in clinic or scheduling an appointment through their school. Third doses are recommended three months or more after the last dose for people age 18 and older, as well as 12- to 17-year-olds who have a high risk of COVID-19 complication or live in a shelter or other restricted community facility. Fourth doses are being phased in for older age groups; the current cutoff age is 60.

Ontario

The first Manitoban injected: Dr. Brian Penner of the internal medicine department at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre, on Dec. 16.John Woods/The Canadian Press/The Canadian Press

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

The first British Columbian vaccinated: Nisha Yunus, a residential care aide at Providence Health Care, on Dec. 15.Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters

B.C.

Territories

  • Official pages: Check the coronavirus information pages for Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
  • The plan so far: In Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon, vaccines are available for anyone aged 5 and up. In Nunavut, waiting times for third doses vary by age: It’s six months for 12- to 17-year-olds: or 4 1/2 months for adults. In the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, third doses are available six months after the second.

National overview

How do the vaccines get to where I live?

The Trudeau government has bought tens of millions of doses of various vaccines and is co-ordinating with provinces, territories and First Nations to deliver them to Canadians free of charge. The vaccines go through a central agency, the National Operations Centre, where health officials and the military organize their distribution.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines may follow

a similar pattern but in the initial stages the

federal government will play a more active

role because of the logistical challenges

associated with vaccines that require cold

or ultracold infrastructure.

ALTA, SASK., ONT., QUE. AND N.B.

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL DEPOT

PHARMACY WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS AND SELF

DISTRIBUTING CHAINS

REGIONAL DEPOT

ADMINISTRATION

SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS

PROVIDERS

PHARMACIES

B.C., N.S. and N.L.

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL DEPOT

REGIONAL DEPOTS

ADMINISTRATION SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS PROVIDERS

Man., PEI., Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Department of National Defence and Correctional Service Canada

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL OR

REGIONAL DEPOTS

ADMINISTRATION SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS PROVIDERS

MURAT yükselir / the globe and mail,

source: Public Heath Agency of Canada

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines may follow a

similar pattern but in the initial stages the federal

government will play a more active role because of

the logistical challenges associated with vaccines

that require cold or ultracold infrastructure.

ALTA, SASK., ONT., QUE. AND N.B.

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL DEPOT

PHARMACY WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS AND SELF

DISTRIBUTING CHAINS

REGIONAL DEPOTS

ADMINISTRATION

SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS

PROVIDERS

PHARMACIES

B.C., N.S. and N.L.

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL DEPOT

REGIONAL DEPOTS

ADMINISTRATION SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS PROVIDERS

Man., PEI., Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Department of National Defence and Correctional Service Canada

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL OR

REGIONAL DEPOTS

ADMINISTRATION SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS PROVIDERS

MURAT yükselir / the globe and mail,

source:Public Heath Agency of Canada

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines may follow a similar pattern but

in the initial stages the federal government will play a more active role

because of the logistical challenges associated with vaccines that require

cold or ultracold infrastructure.

Alta, Sask., Ont., Que. and N.B.

B.C., N.S. and N.L.

Man., PEI., Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Department of National Defence and Correctional Service Canada

MANUFACTURER

CENTRAL DEPOT

CENTRAL DEPOT

CENTRAL OR

REGIONAL DEPOTS

PHARMACY WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS AND SELF

DISTRIBUTING CHAINS

REGIONAL DEPOTS

REGIONAL DEPOTS

ADMINISTRATION

SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS

PROVIDERS

ADMINISTRATION

SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS

PROVIDERS

ADMINISTRATION

SITES AND

FIRST NATIONS

PROVIDERS

PHARMACIES

MURAT yükselir / the globe and mail, source: Public Heath Agency of Canada

Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get in Canada?

Health Canada has approved five vaccines for adults (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Nuvaxovid and Johnson & Johnson) and one for children under 12 (Pfizer at a reduced dose). Except for Johnson & Johnson’s, which requires only one injection, they’re two-dose drugs. Nuvaxovid, the latest vaccine to be approved is the first to be protein-based. Instead of using mRNA, Nuvaxovid contains small pieces of viral proteins that have been selected for their ability to trigger immunity.

Which COVID-19 vaccine is safest?

All of the drugs approved so far are effective and safe. Not all of them work in the same way: Pfizer and Moderna are new types of mRNA-based vaccine that give the immune system a sample of the virus’s genetic material to teach it how to fight back, whereas AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are more traditional viral-vector vaccines. The Nuvaxovid vaccine is protein-based.

Eligibility for the non-mRNA drugs has changed dramatically as health officials learned about a rare form of blood clotting, vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, in people who received doses. The risk of VITT is very low, regardless of age, but it’s far less likely to occur in older people. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended in May that AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson be reserved for people over 30 who don’t want to wait for an mRNA drug, and for essential workers who can’t wait. That advice polarized doctors who maintain that Canadians should accept the first drug they’re offered, or risk getting sick or infecting others if they wait for a different one. It’s also led all provinces to stop giving AstraZeneca for first and second doses.

What other COVID-19 vaccines are in development?

Ottawa has prepurchased two other vaccine candidates and uses a “rolling submission” process so Health Canada can evaluate them before all the data is gathered:

  • Medicago/GlaxoSmithKline
  • Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline

Compiled by Globe staff

With reports from The Canadian Press, Ivan Semeniuk and Kelly Grant


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