Waterloo Region Record

1 in 4 eligible Waterloo Region residents now vaccinated

Area on track to hit milestone of 40% by end of stay-at-home order

- JOHANNA WEIDNER Johanna Weidner is a Waterloo Region-based general assignment reporter for The Record. Reach her via email: jweidner@therecord.com.

WATERLOO REGION — One out of four eligible adults in Waterloo Region is vaccinated for COVID -19. The milestone of 25 per cent was reached on Thursday as a total of 133,166 people received their first dose.

“That is a great thing, but we have a long way to go,” Waterloo Regional Police Insp. Jennifer Davis, lead of command operations for the region’s vaccine distributi­on task force, said during Friday’s briefing.

Davis said the region is also on track to hit 40 per cent of the population before the end of the provincial stay-at-home order, which will last until at least May 20.

But the good news came with a caution that vaccinatio­ns will slow over the coming weeks, and clinics may temporaril­y close due to delayed shipments.

“The vaccine supply in the region does remain unstable,” Davis said.

For the next two to three weeks, shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are anticipate­d to be delayed. That means vaccinatio­n clinics may be closed for several days at a time while waiting for more vaccine to be delivered.

“There’s only one reason a clinic will be closed and that is because we have no vaccine,” Davis said. “Our priority will be to use up every amount of vaccine that we have in the fridges if a clinic needs to be closed.”

She said the task force has been opening clinics to be able to vaccinate more residents of the region as quickly as possible, but supply continues to be a significan­t limitation.

“We’re ready to get vaccines in arms as soon as we get them.”

From the start of the vaccine rollout, the task force has had to make adjustment­s to clinic appointmen­ts based on whether the region receives more or less vaccine than expected.

Adults 55 and older are encouraged to consider getting the AstraZenec­a vaccine from a participat­ing pharmacy and at some primary care locations because this may be the fastest way to get the vaccine. Find a list of local pharmacies at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.

The region continues to move through the second phase of the vaccine rollout, and Davis said it’s anticipate­d the next eligible group will be invited to register by the end of next week.

The Friday dashboard update reported a total of 137,336 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administer­ed, and 26.18 per cent of the region’s residents have received one dose.

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