KITCHENER -- All essential workers in Waterloo Region who cannot work from home are now able to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a Wednesday release, the region said that the province had identified two groups of essential workers who cannot work from home, and that the first group has already been invited to pre-register for a vaccine. The second and final group of these essential workers are now able to pre-register as well.

The essential workers who cannot work from home that are able to pre-register are:

  • Grocery, pharmacy, food bank, Service Ontario, Passport Canada, wholesalers and general goods, restaurant and LCBO workers
  • Workers in manufacturing industries involved in supporting the COVID-19 response, construction workers involved with 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, OntarioWorks and Ontario Disability Support Program 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, and highway maintenance
  • Electricity, including workers employed in systems operations, generation, transmission, distribution and storage
  • Communications infrastructure workers, including cellular, satellite, landline, internet and 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)

These workers in Waterloo Region are encouraged to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine right away. It may take four to six weeks to be contacted for an appointment.

Adults who are 40 and older, or are turning 40 in 2021, can also receive the AstraZeneca at some primary care offices and select pharmacies across Waterloo Region. Appointments are required at primary care offices, and while most pharmacies book appointments, some allow walk-ins.