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Three-Phase Provincial Distribution Plan

The Government of Ontario has developed a three-phase vaccine distribution plan which sets the order and priorities for distribution for local public health units to follow. The groups selected in each phase are based on an ethical framework established by the province. The Government of Ontario has committed to distributing COVID-19 vaccines to priority populations in the highest risk areas as shipments are received from federal government suppliers.

The Role of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is to:

  • Source the supply of vaccines.
  • Identify priority groups.
  • Allocate and monitor vaccine supply across Ontario.
  • Distribute the vaccine supply to public health units.

The Role of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is to:

  • Securely store local vaccine supply and ensure cold chain is maintained.
  • Coordinate and/or administer the vaccine to identified priority groups.
  • Monitor and report local data on vaccine distribution and uptake.
  • Coordinate, oversee, and/or hold vaccination clinics to administer the vaccines to Windsor-Essex County residents.

Local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan:

The WECHU’s local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan builds off the 3-phase provincial distribution plan, but is broken down into three stages based on vaccine supply. We are currently in Stage 2 of our local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan.

Priority Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination

Please note: The vaccine prioritization described on this website is intended to provide an overview of the groups involved in each phase of the Provincial Vaccine Distribution Plan. Specific sectors identified within the phases will be notified directly by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) or another agency or organization when they are eligible to receive the vaccine. The WECHU is committed to timely communication on vaccine availability and will communicate broadly when there are opportunities to register for first or second dose appointments.

View current populations eligible for first and second dose appointments in Windsor and Essex County. Please remember that despite the vaccine rollout, continuing to follow current public health measures is important to ensure you and your loved ones are safe.

The following populations are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase of distribution:

  • Residents, employees and staff, and essential caregivers of congregate living settings that provide care for seniors,
  • Health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization (see more information for health care workers),
  • Adults in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations,
  • Adult recipients of chronic home health care, and
  • Adults 80 years of age and older.

Please note that individuals from Phase 1 who have not yet been vaccinated will continue to be prioritized and eligible for vaccination in Phase 2.

More about PHASE 1: High-risk population vaccination

Local Vaccination Sites and Models:

  • Windsor Regional Hospital run vaccination clinics
  • Mobile teams
  • Primary care physicians/nurse practitioners for prioritized groups
  • Targeted vaccination clinics

In accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance for Prioritization of Phase 2 Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination, the following populations are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of distribution. The prioritization for Phase 2 will begin with the Primary Priority and then proceed to the Secondary Priority.

Individuals may be eligible in more than one Phase 2 group. When there is overlap, please follow the earliest vaccination opportunity that is presented. Please note that individuals from Phase 1 who have not yet been vaccinated will continue to be prioritized and eligible for vaccination in Phase 2. 

Older Adults
Individuals with health conditions and select essential caregivers

Highest Risk

  • Organ transplant recipients and individuals awaiting organ transplant
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • Individuals with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30
  • Pregnancy
  • One essential caregiver for individuals with the conditions in this category who require regular and sustained assistance with personal care or activities of daily living

High Risk

  • Obesity (BMI over 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)
  • One essential caregiver for individuals who require regular and sustained assistance with personal care and/or activities of daily living

Residents and staff of High-Risk Congregate Living Settings
  • Supportive housing
  • Developmental services* or intervenor and supported independent living
  • Emergency homeless shelters
  • Homeless populations not in shelters
  • Mental health and addictions congregate settings*
  • Homes for special care*
  • Violence against women (VAW) shelters and anti-human trafficking (AHT) residents
  • Children’s residential facilities*
  • Youth justice facilities
  • Indigenous healing and wellness facilities*
  • Provincial and demonstration schools
  • Employer-provided living accommodations for temporary foreign agricultural workers
  • Bail beds and Indigenous bail beds
  • Adult correctional facilities

*Includes essential caregivers

Adults living or working in COVID-19 Hot Spot Communities

Adults living in the following Postal Codes: N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N8H, and N9Y

  • Includes pop-up mobile vaccination clinics for individuals aged 18 years or older in Hot Spot Communities

Individuals aged 18 years or older in targeted high-risk settings as supply allows, including:

  • High-risk congregate settings
  • Community centres
  • Residential buildings
  • Faith-based locations
  • Locations occupied by large employers

Select education staff, starting with those who provide direct support to students with complex special education needs

Black and other racialized communities

Certain essential frontline workers who cannot work from home in Group 1
  • Education staff supporting students with complex special education needs and students not able to wear a mask or practice other prevention measures
  • Education workers living or working in select Hot Spot Communities
  • Child care workers in licensed child care settings
Remaining individuals with High Risk Health Conditions and individuals with At-Risk Health Conditions


  • Immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders
  • Stroke and cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • All other cancers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Spleen problems
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension with end organ damage
  • Diagnosed mental disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Immunocompromising health conditions
  • Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community
Remaining Hot Spot Communities
Essential frontline workers who cannot work from home, starting with Group 1

Group 1

  • Education staff who provide direct supports to students with complex special needs are defined as those who support students who meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • Who require support with activities of daily living, including health and safety measures
    • Are unable to wear masks for medical reasons
    • Have complex medical needs
    • Cannot be accommodated through remote learning
  • Elementary/secondary school workers (including educators, custodial, school bus drivers, and administrative staff)
  • Workers responding to critical events (including police, fire, special constables, children’s aid society workers, emergency management, critical infrastructure restoration workers)
  • Enforcement, inspection and compliance roles (including by-law enforcement, building inspectors, food inspectors, animal welfare inspectors, border inspection officers, labour inspectors / WSIB field workers)
  • Individuals working in childcare as follows:
    • All licensees, employees and students on an educational placement who interact daily with children in licensed childcare centres and in authorized recreation and skill building programs.
    • Licensed home child care and in-home service providers, employees of a home child care agency and students on an educational placement.
  • Foster care agency workers (including customary care providers)
  • Food manufacturing and distribution workers
  • Agriculture and farm workers
  • Funeral, crematorium and cemetery workers

Group 2

  • Essential and critical retail workers (including grocery, foodbank and non-clinical pharmacy workers, ServiceOntario workers, ServiceCanada and Passport Canada workers, wholesalers and general goods, restaurant workers, LCBO)
  • Workers in manufacturing industries directly involved in supporting the COVID19 response, construction including infrastructure, and other essential businesses and services where facilities are at heightened risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and spread.
  • Social workers and other social services staff providing in-person client services (including youth justice workers, OW and ODSP case workers)
  • Courts and justice system workers (including probation and parole workers)
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (including public transit workers, truck drivers supporting essential services, marine and rail cargo and maintenance, highway maintenance)
  • Electricity (including workers employed in system operations, generation, transmission, distribution and storage).
  • Communications infrastructure workers (including cellular, satellite, landline, internet, public safety radio)
  • Water and wastewater management workers
  • Financial services workers (bank branch staff)
  • Veterinarians and veterinary teams
  • Waste management workers
  • Oil and petroleum workers (including those working in petroleum refineries; those involved in the storage, transmission and distribution of crude oil and petroleum products and those needed for the retail sale of fuel).
  • Natural gas and propane gas workers (including those working in the compression, storage, transmission and distribution of natural gas and propane)
  • Mine workers (including those needed to ensure the continued operation of active mines)
  • Uranium processing workers (those working in the refining and conversion of uranium, and fabrication of fuel for nuclear power plants).
Youth between 12 and 17 years of age and their family members who have not received a first dose of vaccine.

Please note that health care providers can use their best medical judgement to administer the vaccine to patients with health conditions not listed in Phase 2 that may put them at similar or greater risk.

More about PHASE 2: Mass deliveries of vaccines

Local Vaccination Sites and Models:
  • Participating Primary Care Providers who are willing and able to meet requirements
  • Participating pharmacies who are willing and able to meet requirements
  • Mobile teams based on prioritization
  • Targeted vaccination clinics based on the prioritization and vaccine supply

View booking information and current populations eligible for vaccination in Windsor and Essex County.

  • Remaining residents over 16 years of age in the general population who wish to be vaccinated

More about PHASE 3: Steady State

Local Vaccination Sites and Models:

Mass vaccination sites in Windsor and Essex County


Anticipated Second Dose Schedule

Individuals can receive their second dose according to the following anticipated schedule, as long as it has been at least 28 days since their first dose.

Please note that timing of second dose appointments may vary based on vaccine supply and the date of your first appointment.

Week of

Adults aged 80 and over

Week of

Adults aged 70 and over
Individuals who received their first dose on or before April 18

Week of

Individuals who received their first dose on or before May 9

Week of

All remaining individuals aged 18 and over who have received their first dose

Week of

Youth aged 12 to 17

Individuals who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at least 8 weeks ago are eligible to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine.

Local Task Force & Prioritization Committee

A local task force membership and a vaccine prioritization committee have been established in Windsor-Essex to guide a safe and efficient rollout of the Government of Ontario’s distribution plan for priority groups and residents of Windsor and Essex County.  

Task Force Membership

  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • Municipal Leads
  • Hospital Sector Lead
  • First Responder Lead
  • Primary Care Lead
  • Post-Secondary Education Lead
  • Indigenous Population Lead
  • Home and Community Care Lead
  • Pharmacist Lead

Prioritization Committee Membership

  • Chief Pam Mizuno (Windsor Police) Services
  • Kathleen Thomas (The Multicultural Council of Windsor Essex)
  • Karen Waddell (The House of Sophrosyne)
  • Dr. Ross Moncur (Erie Shores Healthcare)
  • Dr. Suzanne McMurphy (The University of Windsor)
  • Elayne Isaacs (The Southern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Center)
  • Dr. Wajid Ahmed (The Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex

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Last modified: 
Monday, July 5, 2021 - 11:55am