Bright News About Vaccines in Canada
Coronavirus vaccines will be available to immigrants in Canada.
Immigration status will not be a factor in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Canada’s public health agency says.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) told CIC News that COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in Canada for those who are approved and recommended for use… This will be applicable to all persons in Canada whether they are citizens or not.
Currently, Canada has approved the Pfitzer-BioNTech vaccine for people over age 16, and the Moderna vaccine for people over the age of 18. Residents and staff of care homes will have the priority for early vaccination, adults over 70, health care workers, and adults in Indigenous communities.
Canada’s government webpage also adds that as additional vaccines become available, more populations will get the benefit of the vaccine. These groups include residents and staff of shared living spaces such as housing for migrant workers, some essential workers, and health care workers who were not included in the initial rollout.
As of January 21, 2021, there have been 935,700 doses of the vaccine delivered to Canada. Of these, about 729,640 doses were administered as of January 21, according to the vaccine tracker run by a University of Saskatchewan student based on official updates from each province.
Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments are using the recommendations set out in the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to help organize and specify their vaccine distribution priorities.
Immigrants are included in these recommendations, given a number of factors that put them at risk. For example, many populations of migrants may have a different probability to be exposed to the virus due to international travel or due to their occupations, and other factors. So, the NACI suggested a number of interventions to reduce inequity and improve access for migrants and other groups. Some of these suggestions include planning immunization programs with immigration and refugee departments, providing culturally appropriate educational materials in multiple languages, and having translators available in clinics.
The provinces have publicly released their distribution plans on provincial vaccine pages. Quebec, and Manitoba spokespersons specifically told CIC News that migrants could receive the COVID-19 vaccination regardless of their status. A spokesperson from the Northwest Territories said in an email: “Anyone with a valid NWT health care card will receive the voluntary Moderna vaccine as we exercise a phased rollout.”
Deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to drop by 50 percent over the next four weeks as the company is struggling to meet global demand.