More than 10,000 vaccines have been administered in Waterloo Region
KITCHENER -- Vaccination teams in Waterloo Region have administered more than 10,000 doses since receiving the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Dec. 21.
According to a news release, those doses have been given to priority groups as part of the first phase of the province's distribution implementation plan.
As the region hits that milestone, officials announced they would be temporarily pausing the Grand River Hospital COVID-19 vaccination clinic to focus on long-term care and retirement home residents with the current supply.
"The priority right now is to transfer the Pfizer vaccine to the mobile clinics so that vaccinations can continue in the mobile clinics with long-term care and retirement home residents being the priority," said Dept. Chief Shirley Hilton, the head of the region's vaccine task force, in the release.
During a media briefing on Friday, Hilton said that the region could be finished immunizing in long-term care homes by the end of the month.
"We continue to be on track of immunizing in all long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes within two weeks," she said.
The clinic was closed on Friday and was scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, with vaccine teams being redeployed to work with mobile vaccination teams. Officials decided to pause the clinic to use the vaccine supply as it comes in and ensure that there are enough for second doses.
The news release said the region expects to receive another vaccine delivery next week. That will allow the team to keep using it as the supply arrives. Officials have said that the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine is "critical," but the federal government announced Friday that the next shipment of Pfizer would be temporarily delayed.
"While Public Health is focusing on vaccinating long-term care and retirement home residents, the plan will be for GRH to provide support to Public Health by deploying clinic staff to work with the mobile teams," the news release said.
As of Thursday afternoon there had been nearly 8,000 cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region since the pandemic began. Nearly 1,100 of those were active at the time of the region's Thursday update.