Ontario Phase 2 vaccination implications for retailers - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Health & Safety | Ontario | Store Operations

Ontario Phase 2 vaccination implications for retailers

March 5, 2021

Vaccination plan update for Ontario

Ontario provided additional information on its plan to move into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan which focuses on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. Included in this phase are workers who cannot work from home.  Defined within this group are high-risk and critical retail workers (grocery and pharmacies) as well as lower-risk retail workers (wholesalers, general goods).  A full list of workers who qualify can be found below.  Note that vaccination will occur in two separate stages and that within each group, all workers listed will be eligible for vaccination at the same time.

First group of workers unable to work remotely (730,000 people):

  • Elementary / secondary school staff and bus drivers that transport students
  • Workers responding to critical events (e.g., police, fire, compliance, funeral, special constables)
  • Child care workers
  • Licensed foster care workers
  • Food manufacturing workers
  • Agriculture and farm workers

Remaining workers unable to work remotely (1.4 million people):

  • High-risk and critical retail workers (grocery and pharmacies)
  • Lower-risk retail workers (wholesalers, general goods)
  • Remaining manufacturing workers
  • Social workers (including youth justice)
  • Courts and justice system workers (including probation and parole)
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution
  • Energy, telecom (data and voice), water and wastewater management
  • Financial services
  • Waste management
  • Mining, oil and gas workers

Starting March 15, 2021, Ontario will launch an online booking system and a provincial customer service desk to answer questions and support appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics.  It is anticipated that the majority of public health units will transition to the provincial booking system once it has launched.

As well, Ontario is working with the pharmacy sector and with primary care professionals to offer vaccinations in primary care settings and community locations in collaboration with public health units.  A pilot for pharmacy vaccine administration is planned for mid-March in Toronto, Windsor and the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington region.

RCC will provide additional information as the province’s vaccination plan continues to evolve.  At this point, it appears that this group will begin receiving vaccinations in June.  The deck that was used to brief stakeholders today can be found here.

For more information, contact Michelle Wasylyshen at mwasylyshen@retailcouncil.org.