Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine reaches Waterloo, first vaccinations on Tuesday

The first COVID-19 vaccinations in the area are set to place at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener on Tuesday, according to Waterloo Region.

It announced that officials from the hospital and Waterloo Regional Police securely received the first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

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“After an intense week of planning, today marks a significant step forward in roll-out of the COVID-19 immunization program,” Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton in a statement.

“I cannot stress enough that the vaccination program will take time. Adherence to public health guidelines is vital to ensure the health of our community while we roll-out the vaccine.”

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Hilton is in charge of the task force set up to handle the logistics of distributing the vaccine.

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On Friday, she said the task force expected the first batch of the vaccine to arrive on Wednesday.

The region did not say how many doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine had been provided by the Ontario government.

It says the province has identified staff in long-term care homes and staff in hospitals as priority populations to get the vaccine.

A spokesperson for the region told Global News the priority in Waterloo Region will be long-term-care homes and the first vaccinations will involve staff there.

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The region says the task force is working with long-term-care homes in the area to “schedule vaccination clinics, aiming to vaccinate up to 15 per cent of staff of prioritized long-term care homes per immunization clinic day.”

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It says it will spread amongst homes throughout the region to ensure that there are not staffing shortfalls at any one home.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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