The immigration status of individuals residing in Canada will not factor into whether or not they can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Canada prioritizes the health and well-being of all its residents and as such, everyone who wants it, can be vaccinated by September 2021.
When it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, all Canadian residents, regardless of their immigration status will be entitled to the vaccine, these was said by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Free of charge.
Immigrants, refugees and other residents of Canada will not be left behind. In order to reduce any inequity or barriers, NACI has suggested immigration and refugee departments plan immunization programs, have translators available at vaccine clinics and put out literature in multiple languages.
Canadian residents also include any diplomatic staff on duty in the country along with their families and Canadian Armed Forces members who are serving outside the country.
As of right now, two vaccines have been approved for use and distribution in Canada:
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – approved for individuals ages 16 and over;
- Moderna vaccine – approved for individuals ages 18 and over.
The vaccine distribution priorities are established using recommendations made by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The plan is to vaccinate by groups ranked by priority. As it stands, the following populations are first in line for the vaccine and many individuals within this group have already received the vaccine.
- Residents and staff in long term homes;
- Adults over the age of 80, followed by 75, 70 and so on. Basically a decrease of 5 year increments.
- Health care workers who work closely with patients, such as personal support workers.
- Adults in Indigenous communities.
As Canada receives more vaccine doses, they will begin to vaccinate:
- Health care workers not yet vaccinated;
- Residents and staff shared living settings like homeless shelters or correctional facilities;
- Essential workers
And once vaccines are readily available at pharmacies and clinics, the general population can then get vaccinated. Trudeau has promised that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have that option by September 2021.
Vaccination Roll-Out Plan:
The vaccine roll out has not been as smooth as initially anticipated and there have been some bumps along the way. Notably Pfizer being unable to deliver any of the promised vaccines the last week of January and only supplying a reduced number (79,000 doses) the first week of February.
While this delay is having an effect on the country’s short-term vaccination plan, Maj-Gen. Dany Fortin is confidant Canada’s long-term plan will not be impacted. Prime Minister Trudeau spoke to Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer Global on January 21 2021 and he reassured Canadians that despite the delays, we are still on track to receive 4 million doses by the end of March.
As of right now, 858,091 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.