All Waterloo Region residents could have first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by June, regional chair says
KITCHENER -- All residents of Waterloo Region who want to get a COVID-19 vaccine could have their first dose by June, according Regional Chair Karen Redman.
Speaking at the region's Board of Health meeting on Wednesday, Redman said vaccine rollout in the area has ramped up in recent days as more clinics open around the region.
"We have a lot of complex work ahead, bout or committiment to residents is simple," she said. "Every resident in Waterloo Region who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have one by the end of June, that is our target.
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Redman said this is dependant on vaccine supply.
"But, all signs from the province and the federal government are pointing to this being possible," she said.
The region is currently offering pre-registration for people in Phase One and Phase Two of the province's vaccine rollout plan, including adults over the age of 70.
Officials at the meeting said they've hired 340 people to operate vaccination clinics around Waterloo Region.
They've had 1,200 people reach out to volunteer with the vaccination effort.
Around 20,000 people have pre-registered for the vaccine so far.
The COVID-19 vaccination task force said there were supply issues earlier in the year, but deliveries are now more consistent and growing.
"What we are focused on now is ramp-up," said Deputy Chief Shirely Hilton of WRPS, who heads the vaccine task force in the region. "We are moving from scarcity of vaccine supply as experienced between December and March to where we are seeing a more stable and increased supply of vaccine."
Vaccination of people over the age of 80 in the region is nearly complete, officials said.
The task force also said all seniors living in congregate settings have received their vaccine, along with long-term care and retirement home residents.
They hope to have Phase One complete by the end of March.
In March, Waterloo Region is expected to gradually increase from around 6,000 doses a week to over 26,000. In April, the area is expected to reach over 45,000 a week.
"It may not be until May or maybe June that we hit 10,000 doses a day," said Inspt. Jen Davis of WRPS. "But you are going to see us hitting 20,000 a week, 30,000, 40,000, and 50,000 a week as vaccines come."
They've also added the Moderna vaccine to their supply.
"We received our first shipment of Moderna last Friday," said Inspt. Davis. "This was a small shipment that we will likely roll out this week, the difference in this vaccine is it's a little easier to use and a little more mobile."
The region says these doses will be used by the mobile clinics to help vaccinate vulnerable people in the community.
According to the Region of Waterloo, they gave out the single highest daily number of vaccinations on Tuesday at just over 1,800.
In total, just under 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Waterloo Region.
With reporting from CTV Kitchener's Jeff Pickel