Vulnerable Populations and COVID-19

While diseases can make anyone sick, some Canadians are more at risk of getting an infection and developing severe complications due to their health, social and economic circumstances.


Vulnerable populations may include:

Anyone who is:

  • An older adult
  • At risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancer)
  • At risk due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy)


Anyone who has:

  • Difficulty reading, speaking, understanding or communicating
  • Difficulty accessing medical care or health advice
  • Difficulty doing preventive activities, like frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes
  • Ongoing specialized medical care or needs specific medical supplies
  • Ongoing supervision needs or support for maintaining independence
  • Unstable employment or inflexible working conditions
  • Social or geographic isolation, like in remote and isolated communities
  • Insecure, inadequate, or nonexistent housing conditions