All COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Ontario set to reopen today after holiday closures

TORONTO — COVID-19 vaccinations in Ontario are expected to return to full operations today after being scaled down over the holidays.

The province says five vaccination clinics were open on Sunday, 10 were back in action Monday and all of them are set to resume immunizations today.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health says that more than 13,200 vaccines have been administered to Ontarians as of Monday afternoon.

Alexandra Hilkene says that the ministry expects to get through 90,000 doses at 19 hospitals in the next several days.

The storage requirement of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine means it will be used primarily in hospitals, while the more recently approved Moderna vaccine will go to long-term care homes, congregate settings and more rural communities.

Critics have taken issue with the pause in vaccinations over the holidays, saying the province can’t afford to delay immunizations.

 Hilkene said that COVID-19 has created staff issues at long-term care homes and hospitals across Ontario.

“As a result, over the holidays hospital sites administering the vaccines requested to operate on slightly amended schedules, recognizing the challenges that the holidays can have on staffing levels in hospitals and long-term care homes,” she said.

The province did not release its daily tally of new COVID-19 cases and deaths on Monday, meaning today’s numbers will cover two days.

On Sunday, the province recorded 2,005 new infections and 18 new deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is expected to provide an update on the pandemic this afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2020.

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