Canadian Govt Body Prioritises Race for Vaccinations

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a Covid-19 briefing at the Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, on December 18, 2020. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP) (Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)
LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images

The Canadian advisory committee on immunisation has said the government should prioritise adults from “racialised communities” for the “second stage” of the country’s Wuhan coronavirus vaccination plan.

The committee announced that adults from minority communities should be given the vaccine ahead of others, including older white or “non-racialised” people, claiming Canadian minority groups have been disproportionally affected by the Wuhan coronavirus.

“Key populations are sequenced in three stages corresponding to increasing vaccine availability in each quarter of 2021,” the committee stated this week, broadcaster CTV reports.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) statement breaks down the vaccination rollout into prioritised stages, with stage one consisting of care home residents, frontline health workers, adults over 70 years of age, and adults in indigenous communities.

The second stage, which includes all “racialised and marginalised communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19”, also covers first responders, primary caregivers, and residents and staff of prisons, group homes, and migrant worker residences.

The third stage, meanwhile, prioritises those aged 16 to 59 with underlying conditions, adults aged 50 to 59, and non-frontline essential workers.

According to the NACI, the mortality rate from coronavirus was twice as high in neighbourhoods with high numbers of minorities than those with the lowest number of minorities.

“In Ottawa, while the total proportion of racialised groups make up 29 per cent of the general population, they account for 63 per cent of COVID-19 cases. The Black community in Ottawa makes up seven per cent of the general population, but accounts for 37 per cent of COVID-19 cases,” the committee said.

The move to prioritise vaccinations based on race comes after the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced other racially-based policies in recent months.

In September, the Trudeau administration announced a plan to invest $221 million (£159 million) of taxpayer money into a programme to give loans to black entrepreneurs. In December, the government announced $40 million (£29 million) for home ownership opportunities exclusively for black people.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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