The first round of COVID-19 vaccination doses is now complete for long-term care residents in Simcoe County and Muskoka, the local health unit announced Tuesday.
The news comes as Ottawa, Durham, Toronto, York, Peel and Windsor-Essex have also administered their first round of vaccines to all long-term care homes in their respective regions.
In Simcoe Muskoka, some employees and essential caregivers at long-term care facilities have received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is a significant milestone in our immunization rollout plan,” Dr. Charles Gardner, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health, said in a statement.
“By vaccinating residents of long-term care homes and residents in retirement homes, we are taking another important and critical step in the fight against COVID-19. Getting the vaccine to those who need it most as quickly as possible will save lives.”
The long-term care immunization rollout began in Simcoe Muskoka on Jan. 11. It took less than a week to vaccinate 3,545 people in 30 long-term care homes in the region.
The next phase of the region’s immunization plan includes more than 3,000 residents in Simcoe County and Muskoka’s 52 retirement homes.
“The rapid immunization of our most vulnerable residents could not have been completed so efficiently without the support of many community partners, including doctors, nurses and paramedic services in both Simcoe County and Muskoka,” RVH president and CEO Janice Skot said in a statement.
“I must also applaud the hard work of staff at both the health unit and RVH for their roles in coordinating and implementing this important immunization.”
Once supply and delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine increases, the vaccine plan will continue to be rolled out to other priority groups in the region, including Indigenous communities and health-care workers.
There have been 13,317 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Simcoe County and Muskoka in total, mainly to health-care workers in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as hospitals.
More than 557 people have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Simcoe Muskoka.