Goal is to vaccinate 1.1 million Ontarians by the end of March 2021: Retired General Rick Hillier

"We will not be taking any more days off"

After blowback from critics for ramping down immunization clinics during the Christmas break, Retired General Rick Hillier told a media briefing Tuesday that a total of 19 vaccine clinics are now open as of today.

“We will not be taking any more days off,” said Hillier.

In the first three months of 2021, Hillier said 1.1 million health-care workers and vulnerable people will get the vaccine, and the number could soar to 8.5 million by the end of Phase 2 in late July.

He acknowledged there is a push to get the ball moving faster.

“We can’t do it any faster,” said Hillier. “We want to make sure we get it right, and not at the expense of time, but we want to make sure we get it right.”

The Ontario Ministry of Health expects to go through 90,000 doses of vaccines at 19 hospitals over the next few days. A spokesperson said more than 13,200 vaccines have been administered to Ontarians as of Monday afternoon.

The province recorded more than 4,400 new COVID cases over the past two days, with a single-day high of 2,553 new infections reported on Tuesday. As well, there were 78 more deaths from the virus in the last 48-hours.