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Canada's COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, 4 more provinces to start vaccinations

Last Updated Dec 16, 2020 at 7:40 am EST

The largest mass immunization effort in Canadian history began Monday in Ontario and Quebec after the country received its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment over the weekend.

British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan inoculated their first residents on Tuesday. Four more provinces expect to start vaccinations on Wednesday.

Speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is now in agreement to acquire up to 168,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December.

Trudeau also said Canada will obtain an additional 200,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine coming within the next week. Canada plans to have 70 vaccination sites as well, up from 14 this week.

The country was already set to receive 249,000 doses of the Pfizer shot before the end of December.

Here’s a look at how provinces across the country are planning their rollouts:


The province kicked off its vaccine rollout on Monday, officially administering Ontario’s first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to five frontline workers in the city, with Ana Quidangen becoming the first person in Ontario to be inoculated against the virus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on hand, along with Health Minister Patty Hajdu, at The Ottawa Hospital when they began vaccinating frontline health workers on Tuesday.

The Ford government released additional details to Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan on Friday. Phase one of the plan is being rolled out this week and phase two of the plan will see more long-term care residents and health-care workers receiving the shot starting in early 2021. Phase three will see the distribution expanded to inoculate most of the province.

Ontario received 6,000 doses of the vaccine on the weekend and the province says half the shots will be administered this week and the other half will be intentionally held back to give the same health-care workers their required second dose three weeks later.

Another 90,000 doses are expected to arrive by the end of the year and will be distributed to 14 hospitals in COVID-19 hot spots across the province.

Ontario is set to receive between 30,000 and 85,000 doses of the yet to be approved Moderna vaccine in 2021. Health Canada expects the Moderna shot to be authorized by the end of the year.


A resident of a long-term care home in Quebec City became the first Quebecer to receive a vaccination on Monday.

The province began vaccinating residents and staff at the Saint-Antoine residence in Quebec City and at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal.

Residents of long-term care homes and health-care workers have first priority in Quebec. Next in line are people living in private seniors residences, residents of isolated communities and any resident over the age of 80.


British Columbia began vaccinations on Tuesday after receiving their first shipments on Monday.

Health workers in long-term care homes have been given first priority in the province. Vaccines are available at two clinics in the Vancouver area.

The province says they expect 400,000 residents to be vaccinated by March and the vaccine is set to be distributed to the rest of the province by next week.


Alberta received its first shipments of the COVID-19 on Monday night and vaccinations began on Tuesday in Calgary and Edmonton.

Health-care workers in the province have been given first priority.

Alberta received its first 3,900 doses on Monday with another 25,000 doses expected to arrive in the coming weeks. The province is also set to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year.

The province says it eventually plans to roll out the vaccine from 30 different locations.


Saskatchewan began vaccinations on Tuesday with two health-care workers receiving the first shots.

The province is prioritizing critical health-care workers. When the vaccine becomes more widely available the province will prioritize more health-care workers, long-term care residents and workers, people in remote areas over the age of 50 and any other residents over the age of 80.

The province says vaccinations for the rest of the population will begin in April.

The province is set to receive 1,950 doses by Tuesday and the first official phase of the vaccine rollout will being by the end of the year when more doses arrive. Saskatchewan expects to receive over 200,000 doses by the early part of 2021.


Manitoba has received its first doses and vaccinations will begin on Wednesday at their large-scale vaccine “supersite.”

The province is initially prioritizing 900 critical health-care workers and will eventually expand to other health-care workers, Indigenous people and seniors.

Vaccines will be distributed to more areas as they become available and the province plans to vaccinate over 100,000 residents by March.


Nova Scotia received its first shipment on Tuesday and vaccinations will begin Wednesday at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

The province is prioritizing health-care workers who have been on the front lines in the Halifax area.

The province will receive 1,950 doses this week.


The first shipments of the vaccine have arrived in New Brunswick. The province expects to begin vaccinations on Dec. 19 at Miramichi Regional Hospital.

New Brunswick is prioritizing long-term care residents and workers, health-care workers, ambulance workers, rapid COVID-19 response teams, First Nations nurses and any residents over the age of 85.

The province says they will be getting 1,950 doses in the first shipment.


PEI is set to begin vaccinations on Wednesday after receiving their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week.

The province is prioritizing residents and staff of long-term care homes, health-care workers and Indigenous communities.

The island expects to receive 1,950 doses this week.


Newfoundland and Labrador expect to receive their first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine in St. John’s this week.

The province say they will be receiving 1950 doses this week with another shipment coming before the end of the year.


Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon will be receiving the Moderna vaccine in the early part of 2021.

Nunavut plans to prioritize elders and health-care workers while Yukon says it’s allocation is in recognition of it’s large indigenous populations and remote communities.

The three territories say they will receive enough doses to vaccinate 75 per cent of their residents.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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