A personal support worker from a Toronto long-term care home received one of Canada’s first doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Monday.
This comes after Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine officially arrived in Canada Sunday evening, prompting provinces to prepare to inoculate their most vulnerable populations this week.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved by Health Canada last week, as cases continue to spike across the country — with 460,743 total cases and 13,431 deaths as of Sunday evening.
Ontario and Quebec, two of the hardest-hit provinces, administered the first shots Monday afternoon
Here is how the provinces and territories plan on administering the vaccine this week.
Ontario and Quebec
Ontario began giving out the first batch of vaccines on Monday to three personal support workers, a registered nurse, and a registered practical nurse who work at the Rekai Centre nursing home in Toronto.
The province received 6,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday night and plans to give them to approximately 2,500 health-care workers.
Half the shots will be administered this week and the other half will be intentionally held back to give the same workers a required second dose 21 days later.
An additional 90,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive later this month and are to be provided to 14 hospitals in COVID-19 hot spots.
A resident of a long-term care home in Quebec City become the first Quebecer to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Premier Francois Legault announced on Twitter that Gisele Levesque had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Saint-Antoine residence.
Health officials said they would today begin vaccinating residents and staff at the Quebec City residence and at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal after receiving a shipment of the vaccine Sunday night.
Health Minister Christian Dube said the province plans to give its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to about 2,000 people in long-term care homes in Montreal and Quebec City.
During the first wave of the pandemic, the virus killed nearly 6,000 residents in nursing and retirement facilities, accounting for more than 80 per cent of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths.
Maimonides Geriatric Centre had 15 deaths in an outbreak this fall, according to government data. Close to 300 of the facility’s 327 residents should be vaccinated over the course of a week, depending on their health, said Lucie Tremblay, director of nursing for the network that manages Maimonides.