Ontario adjusting vaccine rollout to address shipment delay

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With a dwindling supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario, the government has made changes in how the remaining doses will be distributed.

Premier Doug Ford provided an update on the vaccine rollout Monday afternoon at Queens Park, announcing that vaccine distribution will be adjusted with a goal of making sure all residents of long-term care facilities get a shot by February 5. The previous target date was February 15.

The adjustment ensures that the province’s most vulnerable population, such as long-term care residents, high-risk retirement community residents, and Indigenous elder care homes, have access to both required doses of the vaccines.

The change also means that, until more of the Pfizer vaccine arrives in Ontario, essential caregivers and health care employees may have to wait a little longer to get their shots.

“I know this will mean that some people may have to reschedule their vaccine appointments, but it is critical that our most vulnerable seniors receive the protection they need as soon as possible,” said Ford.

Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be redistributed to 14 of Ontario’s public health units to make sure long-term care homes are getting the vaccine as needed.

The government says once shipments of the vaccine are resumed, rollout will proceed at once. Up to 40,000 Ontarians a day can be vaccinated under the current system, with the ability to increase the capacity pending new shipments.

Also on Monday, Ontario extended its state-of-emergency declaration to Tuesday, February 9, unless extended or amended. Orders under the Reopening Ontario Act will continue to be enforced.