Ontario’s first COVID-19 vaccine will be administered on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
In a statement released on Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at University Health Network in Toronto as well as Ottawa Hospital, to health care workers who provide care in long-term care homes and other high-risk settings.
“Ottawa has been selected in part to test and validate provincial distribution networks, as well as in recognition of the challenges the region has faced with certain long-term care home outbreaks,” Ford said in the statement.
The news comes as Ontario reported a record-high 1,983 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with more than 61,800 tests completed.
This includes 515 new cases in Peel, 496 in Toronto, and 208 in York Region. There were 1,804 more resolved cases and 35 COVID-related deaths (24 of these deaths are from Ontario’s long-term care homes). There are currently 16,233 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, up from 14,795 one week ago.
Ontario is reporting 1,983 cases of #COVID19 and over 61,800 tests completed. Locally, there are 515 new cases in Peel, 496 in Toronto and 208 in York Region. There are 1,804 more resolved cases.
Today’s numbers will be available at 10:30 a.m. at https://t.co/ypmgZbVRvn.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) December 10, 2020
Meanwhile, in a press conference on Tuesday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the COVID-19 vaccination may be required for individuals to access certain settings.
“That is going to be really important for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes and for going to theatres or cinemas or any other areas where people will be in closer physical contact when we get through the worst of the pandemic,” Elliott said.
The notion has ignited a debate across social media, with some claiming that it only serves to incentivize vaccinations.
Proof of vaccination will be “essential for people to have” – Health Minister, Christine Elliott pic.twitter.com/F40QhdwynM
— CrasHTalk (@CrasTalk) December 9, 2020
Groups receiving the early vaccine doses in the first few months of the Ontario immunization program will include:
- Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-term care homes and retirement homes)
- Health care workers (including hospital employees/staff)
- Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities
- Adult recipients of chronic home health care
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.