Canadian Manufacturing

Vaccinations in Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots to start for those 50+ in coming weeks

Officials also said starting on Apr. 7 people aged 60 and over will be able to book their vaccine appointments in every region of the province.

April 6, 2021  The Canadian Press

The second phase of Ontario’s vaccine rollout will target people in COVID-19 hot spots aged 50 and older, the province announced on Apr. 6 as Premier Doug Ford said new restrictions would be coming soon to fight the third wave of the pandemic.

Government officials said people living in hot spot neighbourhoods in 13 public health units – many of them essential workers – will be able to book their vaccine appointments over the next few weeks.

“We have to go in to the hot spots,” Ford said. “We have to go into the high-priority essential manufacturers, the meat packers,…the manufacturing sector, large, large companies.”

Ford said the government is currently working on a plan to vaccinate essential workers and teachers, but the government framework released on Apr. 6 said those workers won’t get their shots until mid-May.

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Officials also said starting on Apr. 7 people aged 60 and over will be able to book their vaccine appointments in every region of the province.

The government aims to ramp up vaccinations to 100,000 shots a day. The current seven-day average stands at 73,442.

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said the province needs to vaccinate essential workers now, not in six to eight weeks.

“Outbreaks at warehouses, food processing plants, and distribution centres are driving the spread of COVID-19,” he said in a statement. “It’s unconscionable that essential workers and their family members are packing ICUs because they don’t have paid sick days and it’s not their turn for vaccines yet.”

His comments come a day after top doctors of three COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario urged the province to impose tougher restrictions, including a stay-at-home order.

The province reported 3,065 new cases of COVID-19 on Apr. 6 and eight more deaths linked to the virus. Of the total cases, 955 were in Toronto, 561 in Peel Region, and 320 in York Region.