The Ontario government said 17 more hospitals across the province will be receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine over the next two weeks, including in hotspot regions.
The first doses of the vaccine were administered earlier this week at University Health Network in Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital.
Ontario said it is expecting to obtain up to 90,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine from the federal government before the end of the year.
The following 17 hospitals will be given vaccine doses, in addition to University Health Network and The Ottawa Hospital:
- Windsor Regional Hospital
- London Health Sciences Centre
- Grand River Hospital
- Halton Healthcare
- Hamilton Health Sciences
- William Osler Health System
- Trillium Health Partners
- Southlake Regional Health Centre
- Mackenzie Health
- Humber River Hospital
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
- Toronto East Health Network
- Unity Health Toronto
- Scarborough Health Network
- Lakeridge Health
- Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
- Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
The government said all of the sites already have the necessary equipment in place to store the Pfizer vaccine at -70 C. The staff are also ready to receive and administer the doses, officials added.
However, Ontario officials said at the current moment, the vaccine cannot be moved beyond the initial delivery location. Vaccinations are being prioritized to health-care workers in high-risk settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes, the government said.
The province said it has chosen Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to test the travel logistics in northern Ontario for administering the vaccine to Indigenous and remote communities.
“Following a successful pilot, we are excited to continue onto the next stage of our rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health.
“While we are planning to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine will receive one, we need to first protect our frontline workers and those providing essential care to our most vulnerable,” Elliot said.
More then 2,300 doses have been administered so far in Toronto and Ottawa.
Ontario said once Health Canada approves the Moderna vaccine, it expects to get those doses to be administered as well.
“This expanded distribution list is fantastic news and allows us to continue to test and refine our vaccination rollout plan,” said Gen. Rick Hillier, who is heading the vaccine distribution task force. “This is the next important step that gets us ready for all of Ontario in 2021.”