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Ministry extends COVID-19 regulations

In a move to expedite the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and continue the fight against COVID-19, Ontario has renewed the exemption in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. The exemption enables health care professionals to continue to have an active role in vaccine distribution without the need for an order.

The renewed exemption authorizes RNs, RPNs and pharmacist professionals to administer the COVID-19 vaccine without requiring and order from a physician (or NP). This aims to streamline the vaccine rollout process, ensuring that vaccines reach as many people as possible in a timely manner.

The exemption also grants permission for any person to administer a COVID-19 vaccine if a physician, RN, NP or pharmacist is present and accessible during the administration. This further enhances the accessibility and availability of vaccines across various health care settings.

Nurses are accountable for understanding and complying with the requirements and maintaining competence to provide safe and effective care to the public. This includes having the necessary knowledge, skill and judgment to safely administer vaccines.  If they do not feel competent to perform this activity, they are obligated not to do so, prioritizing patient safety.

If you have questions about this exemption or your accountabilities for administering COVID-19 vaccines, read our FAQs or contact our Practice Quality team.

Page last reviewed July 07, 2023