As federal and provincial officials begin to speak about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, it's been made clear that the first phase will include a few specific groups of people.

While some of the information may sound confusing or inconsistent from province to province, a table released by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) breaks down who will be getting priority when it comes to distributing the first doses to Canadians. 

During Stage 1, there are four main groups that will be prioritized. 

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The groups include:

  • Residents and staff of congregate living settings that provide care for seniors
  • Adults 70 years of age and older, beginning with adults 80 years of age and older, then decreasing the age limit by 5-year increments to age 70 years as supply becomes available
  • Health care workers (including all those who work in health care settings and personal support workers whose work involves direct contact with patients)
  • Adults in Indigenous communities where infection can have disproportionate consequences

The government data explained the rationale behind the selection.

The document also shows who will get priority when it comes to Stage 2. This stage will include some more of the same and the addition of essential workers.

  • Health care workers not included in the initial rollout
  • Residents and staff of all other congregate settings (e.g., quarters for migrant workers, correctional facilities, homeless shelters)
  • Essential workers

The NACI has shared how they have made these decisions, ethically speaking, prioritizing those with the highest exposure and risk of fatality. 

The table above further explains who belongs in each Stage 1 group and the different sub-prioritizations, too. 

 
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