Justin Trudeau – No new doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in Waterloo region this week
Waterloo region is not expected to receive any new doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Shirley Hilton, deputy chief for the Waterloo Regional Police Service and head of the region’s immunization distribution task force, says it’s because Pfizer has slowed delivery of the vaccine to Canada. The region has not yet received any of the Moderna vaccine.
It was announced last week that deliveries of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine will be reduced dramatically over the next month. Pfizer is grappling demand for its vaccine while also working to retool its production facility in Puurs, Belgium to boost capacity.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that the CEO of Pfizer has personally assured him that the pharmaceutical company will send vaccine shots to Canada next month.
Hilton says locally, the plan is to continue with mobile teams in long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes giving people living there first doses, Hilton said. That will be done using the vaccine doses currently in storage.
The region’s task force halted a clinic at Grand River Hospital for health-care workers to focus on getting vaccines to people living in long-term care and reitrement homes. Hilton says it’s expected the clinic at Grand River Hospital will resume for second doses of the vaccine this week.
The supply after this week is “very uncertain,” Hilton said on Friday during a media briefing.
“We will be making our plans week-by-week,” she said.
Hilton says more than 13,000 people have received the vaccine in the region, split nearly evenly between hospital workers, long-term care and retirement home workers and people living in long-term care and retirement homes.
Older adults and other essential workers will be part of phase two of the vaccination plans with the general public not anticipated to receive the vaccine until late summer or early fall.
“The team is preparing for the vaccine to come hopefully in March. We’ve been told we’ll be making up for the shortage we’re seeing in February,” she said.