The head of Waterloo Region’s vaccine distribution task force expects Phase 1 of the province’s COVID-19 vaccination plan is nearing completion.
“All long-term care and retirement homes are complete for residents with a minimal number of staff and essential caregivers remaining,” Waterloo Regional Police Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton said at a board of health meeting on Wednesday night.
She says congregate settings with a population entirely made of seniors are done while others will be done in the next phase.
“Health-care workers are nearing completion with high-priority ones in progress,” Hilton said.
“Next week, we will be vaccinating patients receiving chronic home care services and have a plan to complete this group by the end of March, including those who are unable to leave their homes.”
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She says that they have almost completed first responders, including paramedics, firefighters and priority police officers.
‘Vaccination plans for those experiencing homelessness or precariously housed will begin in the coming days, and we continue to make significant progress on 80 years of age and older population,” Hilton told the board.
She said they are now focusing on ramping up as the supply of COVID-19 vaccines continues to increase and become more stable.
Another member of the task force, police Insp. Jen Davis, shared a similar sentiment as she shared the task force’s plan to ramp increase supply.
She shared a chart of the collective’s plan and it showed that the task force expects to provide more than 40,000 shots over the final two weeks of April.
“I need to reiterate that this is a fluid document and it’s based on available and anticipated vaccine supply,” Davis said, while noting that the type of vaccines that become available will also play a part in how things shake out.
If supply continues to increase, the numbers could get even more impressive.
“We will be in a position capacity wise to vaccinate 10,000-plus people a day, again, all dependent on vaccine supply,” Davis said.
Waterloo Region Chair Karen Redman also noted the improving conditions, while setting a target date for all residents to get vaccinated if they wish.
“We have a lot of complex work ahead, but our commitment to residents is really quite simple,” she said.
“Every resident in Waterloo region who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have one by the end of June. That is our target now.
“Experience has taught me always to add the caveat that this commitment is dependent on vaccine supply.
“But all signs from the province and the federal government are pointing to this being possible.”
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