A few days after the province released new details of COVID-19 vaccination priority groups, Waterloo Public Health issued an updated vaccination plan for the area.
The new plan updates who will be the focus for vaccinations over the next several weeks.
The agency says it will continue with all eligible long-term care, high-risk retirement home staff and essential caregivers as well as the highest priority frontline workers in these settings.
Other groups it will focus on include health care workers who deal with patients in COVID-19 response, those in assessment testing centres or on mobile teams, as well as those who are supporting outbreak response or working in vaccine clinics and isolation centres.
In addition, paramedics and firefighters will also begin receiving vaccinations as will community health care workers who are involved in consumption and treatment services and those who work with seniors and chronic home care recipients in group settings or providing hands-on care to COVID-19 patients.
Last week, the Ontario government announced that those who are over the age of 80 would be added to the Phase One vaccine rollout but Waterloo Public Health says they will have to wait until early next month because of a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine.
It says the COVID-19 task force will work closely with health care partners and family doctors to identify these people.
As of Sunday, 13,093 people or 2.22 per cent of Waterloo Region’s population, have been vaccinated which is far short of the goal of 75 per cent.
“We are cautiously optimistic that gradual increases in vaccine supply will allow us to expand to additional priority groups,” said Waterloo Regional Police deputy chief Shirley Hilton.
As head of the region’s distribution task force, she added, “Moving forward, we will identify our focus for vaccination based on the information available at the time of release.”
The Ontario government is developing a booking system that is expected to include a local pre-registration system.
Once that is in place, Waterloo Public Health says it will make an announcement and work to ensure everyone is aware and is able to register.