The province of Ontario says all residents and health-care workers at long-term care (LTC) homes in COVID-19 hotspots will be vaccinated before the end of the month.
In an update Tuesday, the Ontario government said residents and workers at LTC homes in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and Windsor-Essex will get the shot by Jan. 21.
Phase One of the province’s vaccine plan began in December, and to date, officials say more than 50,000 people — mostly health-care workers at LTC and retirement homes — have received the shot.
About 1,000 LTC residents have been vaccinated so far, and that’s about to ramp up as the province commits to its Jan. 21 goal.
“Ontario continues to make important progress in quickly and safely vaccinating our frontline health care workers, our most vulnerable and those at greatest risk, and we continue to administer doses to thousands of Ontarians across the province,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement. “Our Vaccination Distribution Task Force, led by General Rick Hillier, has put a plan in place to get these doses distributed and administered as quickly as possible and that plan is working.”
“We are getting the vaccine to those who need it most as quickly as possible,” Hillier said. “Every vaccination has the potential to save a life. Our focus is on getting the vaccines to the most vulnerable, as well as to the outstanding men and women who serve and care for our long-term care residents.”
As of Tuesday morning, the province said there are currently outbreaks at 216 LTC homes and 2,865 LTC residents have died from the virus — that’s more than half of the total number of deaths (4,730) in Ontario. Eight health-care workers at LTC homes have also died.
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