#OntarioSlowRateOfVaccination; #SteadyFlowOfVaccines; #IncreasePaceOfVaccination
Ontario/Canadian-Media: Ontario had been severely criticized by its slow vaccination rate, currently among the lowest in the country on a per capita basis, said provincial health authorities and have called for a "greater sense of urgency" in administering doses since it has only used about a third of its vaccine supply.
Covid 19 Vaccination. Image credit: Unsplash
"Now is the time, with the new year upon us, to really accelerate and that's certainly what I'll be talking with the premiers about on Thursday — how the federal government can support and help [with] getting vaccines even more quickly out to Canadians," Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, citing a planned first ministers' meeting call.
Meanwhile, a plan had been unveiled by the Ontario government to vaccinate all long-term care residents, workers and essential caregivers in the hard-hit areas of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex by January 21.
A pilot project is currently underway in Ottawa, said the officials today, and protocols will be developed this week to explore how the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be brought into long-term care facilities to accelerate its delivery.
Some Indigenous communities will begin to receive doses of the Moderna Vaccine this week.
A collaboration between Ornge, Ontario's air ambulance service, and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation will see doses distributed to 31 mainly remote communities in the coming weeks.
Health-care workers administering the immunizations will be vaccinated beforehand, officials said.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said Canada will receive 208,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine each week for the next three weeks, while 171,000 Moderna shots are expected to arrive on January 11.
"We're ready for a sustained tempo of vaccines throughout the month of January," Fortin said. "We're working diligently to ensure a continuous and predictable flow of vaccines."
After administering the first dose of the vaccine, most of the provinces have have stockpiled the second dose to ensure they have enough supply on hand.
But since provinces can count on a specific number of doses arriving each week for the foreseeable future, said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer and asked them to start to vaccinate as many people as possible.
"I think provinces are looking to not hold back that second dose because they want to more rapidly immunize the population with that first shot," Tam said.