As part of Phase Two of Ontario's COVID vaccine distribution plan, residents over the age of 18 living in regions with the highest rates of transmission will soon be able to receive a vaccine.
The vaccine roll-out will start with the most at-risk in the Peel and Toronto public health regions. This initiative will be expanded to additional "hot spot" regions based on established patterns of transmission, severe illness, and mortality.
This comes as the surge in COVID case numbers and hospitalizations across the province continue to spike amid the third wave, which prompted the Ford government to implement a month-long stay-at-home order and the province’s third state of emergency.
To support the province's expanded vaccination effort, mobile teams are being organized to administer vaccines in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers in hot spot neighbourhoods to individuals aged 18 or over.
Pop-up clinics will also be set up in highly impacted neighbourhoods, including at faith-based locations and community centres in those hot spots, in collaboration with public health units and community organizations within those communities.
The government said it will also be extending bookings for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to more age groups through its provincial booking system, for public health regions with highly impacted neighbourhoods, on Friday, April 9.
Booking eligibility will be extended to include individuals aged 50 and over for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at mass immunization clinics in high-risk areas as identified by postal code, using the provincial booking system.
The Ontario government said the province will start vaccinating education workers the week of April 12, including staff who work with special education students and staff in high-risk neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel Region.
Then, people in the general population who are over the age of 18 in these neighbourhoods in Toronto and the Peel Region would also be prioritized for a vaccine.
As vaccines become available, officials said eligibility would expand to high-risk neighbourhoods in other hot spot regions, including Durham Region, Halton Region, Hamilton, Niagara Region, Ottawa, Simcoe-Muskoka, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Windsor-Essex, and York Region.
So far, the province has identified 114 postal codes across the province where all residents 18 and older will soon be able to get vaccinated.
To further show where the hotspots are, the map below pinpoints every postal code that will soon be eligible. Just keep in mind that the pins are in place just to capture the general postal code location, not the entire location the eligibility covers.
Officials have not specified an exact date as to when the vaccinations will start, or when residents in these hot spots will be able to register for vaccination. But details are said to be made available soon.