Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that the province is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines once they receive them, and priority will be given to vulnerable seniors and the frontline workers who take care of them.
“The Ontario government is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are received, beginning with vaccinating vulnerable populations and those who care for them,” Ford’s office said in a statement Monday. The decision was recommend by the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force.
Ford made the announcement at Queen’s Park together with health minister Christine Elliott, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and retired Gen. Rick Hillier, chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force.
“Our top priority remains getting the vaccines out to those who need the most as quickly as possible,” Ford said. “I’m glad to see news today from the federal government, as I’ve been pushing it on the Premier’s table, that these vaccines have to be distributed and allocated based on per capita, I’m glad we’re doing that.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier Monday that up to 249,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Canada before the end of the year. Trudeau said the first doses will be delivered next week and Health Canada is set to approve the vaccine for use in Canada any day now. COVID-19 is the disease the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus causes.
Those at the top of the list to receive a vaccine in the province include residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of long-term care homes and retirement homes that provide care for seniors; health care workers; adults in indigenous communities, including remote communities where risk of transmission is high; and adult recipients of chronic home health care.
Regions receiving vaccines will be prioritised based on COVID-19 infection rates. This means regions in red-control and lockdown zones, which have the highest rates, will receive the vaccines first.
“We are working diligently with General Hillier and the task force to ensure anyone in Ontario who needs a vaccine will get one when we receive them from the federal government. Until then, we are asking people to look out for their elderly loved ones and protect themselves by continuing to follow the public health measures,” Ford said.
With files from The Canadian Press