Waterloo Region's vaccine task force shifting to 'maintenance phase'
Waterloo Region's Vaccine Distribution Task Force is shifting to a "maintenance phase," now focusing on vaccine outreach and delivering third doses.
Regional officials announced the strategy shift in a release on Tuesday. More than 82 per cent of eligible residents in the region are now fully vaccinated.
The region cited the high vaccination rate along with “a steady supply of vaccine and a sustainable vaccination system in place” as reasons for the move to a maintenance phase.
“We built this program from the ground up with exceptional leadership from across the community,” Regional Chair Karen Redman said in a release. “We were the first region in Ontario to achieve 80 per cent first-dose coverage in all age groups, which demonstrates the commitment and passion of our task force members."
The region said vaccine operations will continue "as long as necessary."
As part of the move to the maintenance phase, Shirley Hilton, deputy chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, will conclude her role as the head of the Vaccine Distribution Task Force.
“As her work with the Task Force draws to a close, I want to recognize the tremendous dedication and commitment of Deputy Shirley Hilton in helping to put this successful vaccine program in place,” Redman said. “We are also incredibly grateful to all of the agencies that allowed us draw on the expertise of their staff for the Task Force. Each member has played a pivotal role in Waterloo Region’s pandemic response and recovery efforts.”
Vickie Murray, director of pharmacy at Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital, will continue serving in her leadership role on the task force.
As of Tuesday, 849,102 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Waterloo Region.
Among the eligible population – those 12 and older – 82.19 per cent are fully vaccinated and 88.12 per cent have received at least one dose.
Across Waterloo Region's entire population, 70.77 per cent are fully vaccinated and 75.88 per cent have received at least one dose.