Brant County begins COVID-19 vaccinations with long-term care workers

Residents of Ottawa's 28 long-term care homes will each have had the chance to receive an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the day on Friday, Mayor Jim Watson said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Brant County’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations began on Wednesday with a clinic for a small group of long-term care home (LTCH) staff, according to public health.

The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now in the region and the Brantford General Hospital has begun a trial run of the procedure.

Mobile vaccination clinics are set to hit long-term care homes in Brant to vaccinate residents and staff on-site starting Thursday.

“While it will take time to the complete vaccination program rollout, this is a significant milestone for us,” Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke, Acting Medical Officer of Health, said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Like most regions in Ontario, vaccinations for individuals and groups will not be included in the first rollout and are not expected until sometime in the spring.

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News of the vaccines comes after the highest single-week case count in Brant County since the pandemic began.

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The region’s local case count for the week ending Jan. 10 was 169.

“Our case count is a direct reflection of some of the poor decisions that were made over the holidays around non-household gatherings,” Urbantke said.

“Being fed up and tired of what’s been a long, hard road to this point is not going to help us dig out of this hole we find ourselves in, both locally and provincially.”

Brant County has had 1,157 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

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The region had 153 active cases as of Tuesday. Four people are receiving hospital care.

Brant now has five ongoing institutional outbreaks, all in Brantford, at Fox Ridge, John Noble LTCH, Brierwood Gardens, St. Joseph’s YMCA Child Care Centre and Wee Watch private daycare.

The county has six total deaths connected with the pandemic.