Coronavirus: Waterloo Region issues plea to province for more COVID-19 vaccine

Waterloo Region has issued a plea to the Ontario government asking for it to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccine.

It says that 6,823 health-care workers have been vaccinated by end of day Sunday and that there is no extra vaccine in storage.

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The region points out that second doses will begin this week and says that supply “is critical to allow continued vaccination of community members identified as high-priority.”

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Waterloo Regional Police deputy chief Shirley Hilton is heading up the region’s distribution task force.

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“Our capacity to vaccinate has tripled over the past two weeks and I am confident we can continue to ramp up operations to vaccinate more people, more quickly,” Hilton said.

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“The greatest obstacle right now is supply since we can only vaccinate using what we have.

“Our current vaccine supply is allocated to high-priority groups most at-risk. Increasing vaccine supply in Waterloo Region will allow us to vaccinate these groups much more quickly.”

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The first phase of the province’s vaccination plan is for priority populations such as health-care workers, essential caregivers, long-term care home and retirement home residents as well as First Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations to be immunized.

The second phase will see priority vaccination of other congregate care settings and older adults aged 70 plus while all others will be able to be vaccinated in the summer.

The region says it will announce where and when residents can receive the vaccines once they are able.

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