Kitchener-Waterloo

More doses of COVID-19 vaccine needed in Waterloo region, officials tell province

Regional officials are asking the province for more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so it can ramp up inoculations to more individuals.

'Our capacity to vaccinate has tripled over the past two weeks,' task force head says

Care home workers get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Dec. 22, 2020. Officials in Waterloo region say they're ready to ramp up vaccinations, they just need more doses to do it. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Regional officials are asking the province for more doses of COVID-19 vaccines so inoculations can be expanded to more individuals. 

The region said right now, it has enough to give shots and second doses to people who are scheduled to receive it, but not enough to expand beyond that.

Shirley Hilton, deputy chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service and head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution task force, said in a release Monday that they are ready and able to ramp up vaccinations once doses arrive.

"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," Hilton said. "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."

Even if the region expands vaccinations, the general public should not expect to get a shot until phase three, which isn't expected to begin until this summer.

Right now, the province is in the first phase, which gives priority to health care workers, essential caregivers, long-term care and retirement home residents, First Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations, including Métis and Inuit adults.

The second phase adds other congregate care settings and adults aged 70 and older.

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