Male health care worker, wearing a lab coat, gives a female health care worker a vaccination in her arm.

FAQ: Essential Workers and Vaccinations

creynolds COVID-19 Fact Sheets, Occupational Health & Safety

As an essential worker, when will I receive my first dose of the vaccine?

  • When you receive your first dose will depend on your individual risk factors, not your occupation, unless you work directly with COVID-19 patients.
  • Any concerns you may have about your eligibility to be included in a priority group, based on a health condition, should be discussed with a health care provider.

Does my status as an essential service worker entitle me to receive the vaccine in Phase 2 of Newfoundland Labrador’s roll-out? 

  • No, simply being an essential service worker does not qualify you.
  • You may be eligible based other factors, such as:
    • Your age
    • You are currently working directly with the public in an area that is at Alert Level 5
    • You are considered to be “clinically extremely vulnerable” as defined in the province’s immunization plan and following consultation with your health care provider. See the list of people who may be considered clinically extremely vulnerable on page 4 of the plan.

But I thought the advice said I could get one! 

  • Right now, the Phase 2 vaccination group allows for essential service workers who work directly with the public in regions that are at Alert Level 5, at the discretion of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • Phase 2 criteria for priority groups can be viewed at

I am worried about being exposed to the virus through my work. Why doesn’t that qualify me for a vaccine? 

  • Vaccination will not provide any degree of safety in workplaces until the majority of the population has been vaccinated. This is called “herd immunity”. When a lot of people in a community are vaccinated it’s harder for the virus to spread because most of the people it encounters are immune.
  • Until then, our best defences are the public health measures we have been fighting to ensure are happening in at our worksites. Masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and thorough cleaning and sanitation practices will ensure our safety on the job.
  • Learn more about herd immunity at

I know an essential worker in another part of the province who received a vaccine, but I am not eligible yet. Why is that? 

  • Some areas of the province (such as Labrador and isolated Indigenous communities) have been designated as high priority areas due to community characteristics that make residents at a higher risk for severe disease or death. People who work and live in those areas may receive a vaccine before others who do the same job, based on those risk factors.
  • Essential workers who work directly with the public in areas that remain in Alert Level 5 (such as grocery store workers) could be eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 2 of the roll-out, at the discretion of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The full Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Immunization Plan is available online at

Download a printable copy of these Frequently Asked Questions.