KITCHENER -- Adults aged 50 and over in neighbourhoods identified as high-risk by Region of Waterloo Public Health can now pre-register for COVID-19 vaccines.

The neighbourhoods identified by the region are:

  • Vanier/Rockway
  • Country Hills
  • Alpine/Laurentian
  • Victoria Hills/Cherry Hill
  • Shades Mills

“Opening vaccine pre-registration to adults 50 and older in high-risk neighbourhoods is one other way we are supporting local priority populations,” said Shirley Hilton, head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force, in the release. “This furthers the work already being done by the task force to increase access to vaccines for high-risk groups, including Indigenous, refugee and newcomer, migrant worker, individuals experiencing homelessness or vulnerably housed individuals who live in Waterloo Region.”

Earlier this week, the province released a list of high-risk postal codes across Ontario where they would prioritize vaccine rollout. That list included Kitchener neighbourhoods with the postal code prefix N2C. That included people living in Kingsdale, Vanier and Country Hills East.

On Wednesday, the region expanded that list to include Alpine/Laurentian, Victoria Hills/Cherry Hill and Shades Mills.

High-risk neighbourhood map

Map courtesy Region of Waterloo

Saifora Abdul Hadi said her father is over 50 and lives in a high-priority neighbourhood, meaning he can pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine.

"It's very exciting, I'm happy," she said. "We were waiting for this day for so long, because he has diabetes and he's been waiting for the day he could get the vaccine."

Teneile Warren, a community advocate, said people living in those areas may have difficultly physically distancing or isolating when at home.

"A lot of immigrant communities we are learning are coming in larger groups and so we don't have a high stock of three- and four-bedroom houses and the ones that we do are out of affordability," she said.

Public health officials said this is part of a plan to target areas with higher numbers of COVID-10 cases, including Indigenous people, refugees and newcomers, migrant workers, individuals experiencing homelessness and people in vulnerable housing situations.

Phase Two pre-registration is also open to adults 60 or older across the region, along with people living in congregate settings and people with high-risk health conditions.

A full eligibility list, along with information on pre-registration information, can be found here.