Vaccine Timing and Status for Retail Employees

RCC is continuing to advocate to governments in each region to ensure essential retail workers across the country are able to get their vaccination as quickly as possible. See below for current information available on vaccinations applicable for retail employees.

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British Columbia

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Updated April 7, 2021: B.C. is in Phase 3 of their broader plan to vaccinate the general population between the ages of 60 and 79 which will continue in early April.  People aged 71 and above (indigenous people 18 and over) are already able to make vaccination appointments or have been vaccinated.  ‘Clinically extremely vulnerable’ people aged 16 and older are also eligible to make vaccination appointments or have been vaccinated.  All adult (16+) British Columbians can register for the province’s vaccination program which will ensure that you are contacted when it is your turn.

Following advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 55.  Therefore, B.C.’s ‘essential worker’ vaccine program, announced on March 18, has been put on pause. RCC will provide updates when available.  If you are a retailer, and you have a distribution centre or manufacturing facility in B.C., you should contact Greg Wilson at gwilson@retailcouncil.org.

Alberta

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Alberta has not currently made retail workers a priority in its vaccine rollout schedule, which is largely age based. The government has indicated that work to identify the sequence for all other groups is underway. If additional vaccines are approved and become available, people between the ages of 18 and 64 who work in specific workplaces or industries may be included in Phase 2, which is scheduled to run from March 15 to June 2021. Otherwise, retail workers will be included in Phase 3, to begin in the early Summer.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

On-site Vaccine Opportunities/ Pharmacies

Starting March 15, 2021, over 250 pharmacies across the province will provide COVID-19 immunizations with either Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

Saskatchewan

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Saskatchewan has not given priority to retail workers in its vaccine rollout schedule, which is largely age and location based (with priority to remote and Northern communities). Currently, retail workers will be vaccinated based on their age group, with vaccinations for ages 60-69 anticipated to begin in April 2021 and moving in 10 year age groups through June 2021.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

On-site Vaccine Opportunities/ Pharmacies

Saskatchewan has indicated that private pharmacies will be utilized in the vaccine rollout.  

Manitoba

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Manitoba has not currently given priority to retail workers in its vaccine rollout schedule, though the government notes essential workers may be added as additional vaccines are approved in Canada. Retail workers will be vaccinated based on their age group.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

On-site Vaccine Opportunities/ Pharmacies

The AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine doses will primarily be used to provide COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

Ontario

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Ontario is currently completing Phase 1 of its rollout plan,vaccinating those 80 years of age and older. The province has indicated that Phase 2 will include high-risk and critical retail workers (grocery and pharmacies) as well as lower-risk retail workers (wholesalers, general goods). Phase 2 is expected to begin April 2021.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

On-site Vaccine Opportunities/ Pharmacies

325 pharmacies in the pilot health unit regions of Toronto, Kingston and Windsor will be offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine to eligible Ontarians aged 60-64, by appointment only.

Quebec

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

At this time, retail employees are included in phase 10 for vaccinations, which is expected to take place during the months of May/June 2021.

Information on how the eligible population can obtain an immunization appointment is on the on the Clic santé platform.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

On-site Vaccine Opportunities/ Pharmacies

The government is calling on companies to help the immunization campaign by immunizing their employees, their families and members of their community. Full details of this initiative can be found online (in French).

Pharmacies have been taking part in the vaccination deployment plan since March 15, 2021 in Montreal. Those located outside the metropolis will be participating in the campaign over the coming weeks.

New Brunswick

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Pharmacists, commercial truckers, rotational workers, and regular cross-border work commuters are included in Stage 1 of New Brunswick’s vaccination schedule, taking place in March 2021. Despite RCC’s push for essential retail to be given priority, the government primarily developed its phased approach based on age, health and cultural criteria. RCC was successful in ensuring that pharmacists were included in Stage 1, and other retail workers will be vaccinated in Stage 3 in July 2021. RCC will continue to push for retail workers who deal with the public to receive priority in the government’s vaccination plan. See press release here and information on booking appointments.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

RCC was successful in ensuring that retail was specifically mentioned among ‘essential workers’ who will be able to receive the vaccine in Phase 2.  Retailers deemed ‘essential’ (allowed to welcome in-store customers) during an Alert Level 5 and frontline workers who had direct contact with the public and could not work from home during an Alert Level 5 are eligible in Phase 2 of the vaccination schedule and will be able to pre-register in April 2021. Once a person is pre-registered, they will be contacted to book a vaccine appointment from April to June 2021.

Phase 3 will take place between July and September 2021 and will include all remaining groups to be vaccinated.

On-site Vaccine Opportunities/ Pharmacies

There may be opportunities for vaccine clinics to be held in partnership with large businesses. Details to be confirmed. Background note can be found here.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

Nova Scotia

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Commercial truck drivers are included in Phase 2 of Nova Scotia’s vaccination schedule, taking place in Spring 2021. Pharmacists working in hospitals and workers in large food processing plants responsible for food security are also included in Phase 2. Despite RCC’s push for essential retail to be given priority, the government developed its phased approach solely based on age, health and cultural criteria.  Retail in Nova Scotia was never shut down during any part of the pandemic and thus, it was difficult to argue that some retail is ‘essential’ and therefore needs vaccine priority. Essential retail (pharmacy and grocery, grocery DCs) may receive priority within Phase 3 but this has not yet been determined. See background information  and information on booking appointments.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

Prince Edward Island

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Commercial Truck Drivers are included in Phase 1 of PEI’s vaccination program, from December 2020 to March 2021.

RCC was successful in ensuring that retail was specifically mentioned among ‘essential workers’ who will be able to receive the vaccine in Phase 2. Phase 2 is scheduled to run from April to June 2021 and will include frontline essential workers age 18-59 who cannot work virtually (e.g. grocery and retail clerks, restaurant servers, gas station attendants and clerks, seafood and meat plant employees) as well as non-frontline essential workers.

Information on booking appointments including at the partner pharmacies can be found here. Please note that the information on this site – which, refers to people who work in the food service industry – only covers people who work in restaurants and bars.

See provincial vaccine rollout plan.

Yukon

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Appointments across the Yukon are now open for all Yukoners over 18 years of age, including retail employees, to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine. More information on booking appointments here. Yukon will have vaccinated 75% or more of their adult population by the end of March. This allocation recognizes the territories’ remote communities, significant Indigenous populations, and limited healthcare system capacities. More vaccine will be made available to the territories in Q2 if more is required.

Northwest Territories

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

Essential frontline workers in Yellowknife, including those who work in grocery stores, drugstores, liquor stores and gas stations and convenience stores are identified as a priority population and can book their vaccine appointments here. Appointments for anyone 18+ in communities other than Yellowknife, Hay River and Inuvik are available here.  Northwest Territories is on track to have vaccinated 75% or more of their adult population by the end of March. This allocation recognizes the territories’ remote communities, significant Indigenous populations, and limited healthcare system capacities. More vaccine will be made available to the territories in Q2 if more is required.

Nunavut

Timing and Status for Retail Employees

All Nunavummiut 18 years and older are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Information on community vaccine clinics and booking appointments is available here. Nunavut is on track to have vaccinated 75% or more of their adult population by the end of March. This allocation recognizes the territories’ remote communities, significant Indigenous populations, and limited healthcare system capacities. More vaccine will be made available to the territories in Q2 if more is required.

See also: Free COVID-19 rapid test kits for retailers

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