Teachers, rotational workers and public-facing retail staff are all included in the planned second phase of vaccine distribution in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the timeline depends entirely on reliable access to the vaccine.
“Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald told reporters during Friday’s COVID-19 video briefing.
The province has already begun pre-registration for people over the age of 70, which will take place in three stages based on alphabetical order.
• From Friday, Feb. 26 to Sunday, Feb. 28, people 70 years of age and older with last names starting with A to F can pre-register.
• From Monday, March 1 to Wednesday March 3, people 70 years of age and older with last names starting with G to L can pre-register.
• From Thursday, March 4 to Saturday, March 6, people 70 years of age and older with last names starting with M to Z can pre-register.
“While it is important to pre-register, it will not determine your place in line to receive a vaccine,” Fitzgerald said. “It will not be first come, first served.”
Anyone who knows of someone who is eligible to pre-register and may need assistance is encouraged to help them, as people can pre-register on someone’s behalf.
Phase 2 vaccinations are expected to start in April, assuming the first phase is complete, and will be available for the following prioritized groups:
• People 70 years of age and older, starting with those 80 and older;
• Adults who identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
• Staff, residents and essential visitors at congregate living settings (shelters, group homes, transition houses, correctional facilities, and children or youth residential settings);
• People 60 to 69 years of age;
• Adults in marginalized populations where infection could have disproportionate consequences (e.g. people experiencing homelessness or with precarious housing arrangements);
• First responders (including career and volunteer firefighters, police officers, border services personnel, and search and rescue crews);
• Frontline health-care workers who were not immunized in Phase 1 and who may come into direct contact with patients (includes private health-care workers);
• People ages 16 to 59 who are clinically extremely vulnerable (as defined, and following consultation with their health-care provider);
• People who are required to regularly travel in and out of the province for work, including truck drivers and other rotational workers; and
• Frontline essential workers who have direct contact with the public and cannot work from home during Alert Level 5.
Peter Jackson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering health for The Telegram.