Ontario's first COVID-19 vaccines have officially arrived

Dec 14 2020, 8:29 am

The first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have officially arrived in Ontario as the rollout begins on Tuesday.

On Monday, Premier Doug Ford said he was in Hamilton last night to oversee the first shipments of the vaccine as they arrived in Ontario.

“We have been preparing for this day for months and we are ready for the road ahead. Launching our vaccination program will finally put an end to COVID-19,” he said.

Last week, Ford and General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force announced the rollout plans for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Phase One will begin on Tuesday, December 15, with a pilot project in Toronto with the University Health Network and Ottawa with The Ottawa Hospital, which will include the vaccination of over 2,500 healthcare workers.

In this phase, an expected 90,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses are expected to be delivered to up to 14 hospital sites in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones in December to vaccinate healthcare workers in hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings caring for seniors.

Deliveries of an expected 35,000 to 85,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, once approved, will enable vaccinations to be expanded to long-term care homes in the Grey-Lockdown areas.

In early 2021, there will be an expansion of additional hospital sites providing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones.

The officials also said that it is anticipated that by the end of January, over 20 hospitals across the province will be administering the Pfizer vaccine.

During Phase Two, vaccinations will be administered to healthcare workers, residents in long-term care homes and retirement homes, home care patients with chronic conditions, and additional First Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations, including Métis and Inuit individuals.

Ontario will enter Phase Three when vaccines are available for every Ontarian who wishes to be immunized.

The province emphasized that while vaccines will not be mandated, during Phase Three, people will be strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.