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10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations completed in Waterloo Region

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Waterloo Region says more than 10,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since Dec. 23, 2020.

It also announced it will close the vaccination clinic temporarily to focus its efforts on vaccinating long-term care and retirement home residents.

Read more: Waterloo Region continues to have more than 1,000 active COVID-19 cases

The region says the clinic will be closed from Friday through Monday as staff there will assist the mobile clinics in vaccinating the residents.

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“The priority right now is to transfer the Pfizer vaccine to the mobile clinics so that vaccinations can continue in the mobile clinics with long-term care and retirement home residents being the priority,” said Waterloo Regional Police Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton, who is heading the task force on vaccine distribution.

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Mobile clinics were recently launched by the region on Tuesday after restrictions were lifted on how the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine needs to be stored.

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Thus far, Hilton said the clinics had vaccinated residents of 14 homes in the region, with six more expected Friday.

“We continue to be on track of immunizing in all long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes within two weeks,” she told reporters on Friday.

Read more: 7 patients transferred to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener from across the GTA

She says the biggest issues in getting the ball rolling on vaccinations has come in two areas.

“Always I refer back to supply, supply, supply,” the deputy police chief explained.

“That is our biggest hiccup right now, is working with an unknown supply or not being in a position to know further in advance as to what we might be getting.”

The region says it is expecting more vaccines to arrive next week, which will allow the team to continue using the supply as it arrives.

While the region is looking to vaccinate as many people as it can, a spokesperson for Waterloo Public Health told Global News Tuesday that the homes were being prioritized based on these factors:

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  • density and physical layout of the home (older homes built with more ward-style rooms are at greater risk for spread and lack space for isolation and distancing)
  • size of the home (larger homes are at greater risk of spread due to population size)
  • homes currently in outbreak cannot have staff or residents vaccinated until the outbreak is cleared

 

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