A miscommunication involving a COVID-19 booster shot has left a Kitchener woman concerned for her 86-year-old mother.

Joanne Laalo asked the retirement home where her mother lives to arrange for the vaccination, however, that dose was never given.

Now, The Village of Winston Park in Kitchener where her mother lives has declared an outbreak with two confirmed cases of COVID-19, putting the 86-year-old into isolation.

“It would have been a great preventive move for mom to have got her vaccine ten days ago now,” said Laalo.

The home said it was their understanding public health would only send a nurse if there were enough people to use a full vial of the vaccine.

"If the process changed to allow for one dose at a time, the [clinical] team was not aware,” said a spokesperson for the home.

Region of Waterloo Public Health said single vaccinations can happen upon request, saying "no homes are denied vaccine if there are eligible residents."

The fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for retirement home residents.


“She's feeling very tired today, but she is well otherwise and just had her nasopharyngeal swab this morning,” said Laalo.

“She's very down because all of the activities have been postponed. She's isolated now in her room, people have to fully garb up to go in.”

Laalo credits the home for being very open and transparent, but is frustrated with the miscommunication, wishing her mom was better protected during this outbreak.

“We were told that long-term care, retirement homes, congregate settings were protected environments," she said. “It’s very concerning for what’s going to happen in the future.”

The home says they will send a consent form to move forward with the shot once her mother is out of isolation and has a negative COVID-19 test.