Premier Doug Ford boasted about Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout even though it lags behind other provinces.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Ford said the vaccination rollout is “on everyone’s mind right now and is the only thing I’m thinking about. It’s our top priority.”
He then went on to say Ontario has given out “more vaccines than anyone,” and they have “more fully vaccinated people than all the provinces combined.”
“I can’t wait for the day when we’re able to do more, but we need more vaccines. It’s a game-changer.”
Ford added that General Rick Hillier, who is heading the COVID-19 distribution task force, is spending “every waking moment planning for the future” and is planning ahead, which is what “good generals, good commanders” do.
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While Ontario has delivered the most vaccine doses in the country with 602,848, compared to the population size, it’s actually lagging behind other provinces with just 2.1% of the population vaccinated.
So far, the Northwest Territories has the most of their population vaccinated at 18.4%, followed by Yukon at 16.6%, and Nunavut at 9%.
British Columbia and Quebec are in a slight lead with 2.2%, while Alberta also had 2.1%, and Manitoba 2.4%.
The only provinces behind Ontario and Alberta are New Brunswick, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Also on Monday, Alberta managed to provide one dose to all long-term care residents and staff who agreed to get vaccinated. Ontario is hoping to have this completed by next week, Hillier said in a press conference earlier on Wednesday.
When asked about other province’s plans, Ford said that Alberta’s online vaccination registration, which launched today, has already crashed and that “not one single dose” of the second vaccine has been administered to long-term care in Quebec. Ontario will not be launching an online vaccination registry until March 15.
In Ontario, by March 15, 80-year-olds and older can book an appointment to be vaccinated, which is around 600,000 people, followed by 75-year-olds in April, 70-year-olds in May, and 65-year-olds in June.
Hillier did not provide a specific date when asked for a timeline on when those 65 years old and younger can be vaccinated. He added that while they want the general population to have access to the vaccine by Labour Day, it is dependent on the supply, which is controlled by the federal government.