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Ontario wants everyone vaccinated by early August, general says

Ontario wants everyone vaccinated by early August, general says-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
Can Ontario vaccinate everyone who wants the jab by early August? The retired general in charge of distribution says it’s the new goal. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

 

Ontario wants to have everyone vaccinated by late July or early August, the head of its vaccine distribution plan told CBC News Sunday.

The updated timeline came as the province saw 3,422 new COVID-19 cases and 69 more deaths, with Toronto alone recording more than 1,000 new infections.

Retired general Rick Hillier said while accomplishing the summer goal hinges on Ontario getting a steady supply of vaccine, there’s a plan to get them in arms.

“When they come, we’re going to be able to use them all,” Hillier told the CBC’s Rosemary Barton.

“I’d love to see the province of Ontario done by the end of July or early August with all those who want to have a vaccine and who are eligible to receive it. But until we get the vaccine allocation, until we know what’s coming, we just can’t do it.”

Ontario has distributed the most COVID-19 vaccines of any province, but has administered only 72 per cent of the doses it has received. You can get the latest details by using the CBC News vaccine tracker.

For now, a provincewide stay-at-home order remains in place as Ontario tries to limit the spread of the virus.

GTA continues to see bulk of province’s new cases

Toronto reported 1,035 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, marking another day that the province’s biggest city also had the most infections.

In addition to Toronto’s cases, there were 585 new cases in Peel, 254 in Windsor-Essex, 246 in York and 186 in the Niagara area. The new cases drive the seven-day average, a key figure that reduces noise in the data, to 3,143 new cases per day.

A further 69 more people with the illness died, bringing the province’s official death toll to 5,409.

At least 1,570 people are in hospital, and there are now 293 patients on ventilators. Just over 3,078 cases were marked resolved.

There were 60,183 tests completed, and the province’s positivity rate is now 5.2 per cent.

Ford, Tory touring future mass vaccination site

Ontario has now administered 200,097 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and remains in the first phase of its rollout plan.

Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory toured the city’s first mass vaccination site, located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, on Sunday.

Mass vaccinations haven’t started yet (long-term care and health-care settings are being prioritized) but the Toronto facility is set to serve as a blueprint for what could be coming to other locations in the coming months. The city provided these details about the mass vaccination site, which it’s calling a “proof-of-concept clinic”:

  • Opens Monday, but not to the general public.
  • Will start with 250 vaccinations per day.
  • Will use the Moderna vaccine.

Tory said he hopes the test site will provide some hope during the grey winter months.

“Vaccination is soon to come and we’re just working away at being ready to do that,” Tory said.

Mt Sinai Hospital in Toronto-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
Paramedics transport a patient to Mt. Sinai Hospital, in Toronto. There are 1,570 hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Sunday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ford said the province will be ready when it’s time to ramp up vaccinations in April, May and June.

“Our goal is to get as many needles in people’s arms as possible,” he said.

The two leaders didn’t take questions from reporters.

CBC

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