Ontario focuses on COVID-19 vaccines for long-term care residents amid dose delay

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TORONTO — Ontario is pausing COVID-19 vaccinations of long-term care staff and essential caregivers so that it can focus on administering the shots to all nursing home residents amid a shortage of doses.

The province is currently dealing with a delay in deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with no shots expected to arrive this week.

The government says the shift in the focus of its vaccine plan means all long-term care home residents, high-risk retirement home residents and First Nations elder care residents will get the first dose of the vaccine by Feb. 5.

That's sooner than a previous goal of Feb. 15, but the earlier plan had included the vaccination of long-term care staff and caregivers as well.

The government says it expects 26,325 Pfizer-BioNTech doses next week, which are far fewer than the amount originally expected.

A total of 286,110 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province so far.

Ontario is reporting 1,958 new cases of COVID-19 today and 43 more deaths linked to the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press