Nearly 13,000 Waterloo Region residents have been fully vaccinated so far: officials
KITCHENER -- Roughly two per cent of Waterloo Region's population has received both doses of the vaccine, which comes out to just under 13,000 residents.
A number of people were spaced out in a line at a clinic in Kitchener on Friday morning awaiting their shots.
Debbie Clifford tells CTV News she found out Wednesday she would be getting her first dose and arrived extra early for her appointment.
"It takes that little bit of worry away, how I affect my mom or other people should I catch the virus," she said. "I do work in a school as well, so this kind of puts that little bit of ease in my mind that I'm doing all that I can to keep myself safe, my family safe, and others around me safe."
Peter Holden, a social worker and primary caregiver, is also getting his first dose.
"I think the last month and a half of lockdown was where I felt that I really needed to see some hope and see some progress," he said.
At full capacity, Waterloo Region public health officials hope to vaccinate up to 12,000 people per day.
Meanwhile, a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Fergus opened Friday at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex.
Health-care worker Faith Katerberg received her second dose on Friday and is now fully vaccinated against the disease.
"I feel better to work with residents now that I have the vaccine," she said.
She works at a retirement home and jumped at the chance for the shot when she got the call on Thursday.
Kelly Stanley also got that call. She's a health-care worker on the front lines of the pandemic.
"It makes you feel a bit better, more safe at work," she said. "Obviously when you are treating people with COVID, you want to have the vaccine."
Vaccination effort coordinator Paul Johnson said around 300 people were vaccinated on Friday. As they get more doses, that effort will ramp up.
Once the vaccine is available to the general public, they hope to administer 5,000 doses a day.
For now, appointments are only for people who are included in Phase One of the vaccine rollout.
At the Region of Waterloo's COVID-19 update on Friday, WRPS Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton, who is managing the region's COVID-19 vaccination task force, said Phase One now includes people over the age of 80. Health-care workers have also been divided in highest, very high, high and medium priority.
Hilton said public health will continue giving out second doses to care home patients this week. As supply allows, highest priority health-care workers, long-term care and retirement home residents, staff and essential caregivers will get their first doses.
Starting Feb. 25, Hilton said they'll start giving out second doses to that group.
They will move through the priority list as supply becomes available next month.
"The task force will use a variety of tools to communicate broadly to the public when a new group is eligible to be vaccinated," Hilton said.
She said adults over the age of 80 aren't able to book appointments yet.
Health officials will notify the public when they can start coming in for vaccines.