Premier says COVID-19 vaccine rollout is a logistical nightmare

Decision about a curfew coming over the next few days

Premier Doug Ford has defended his governments effort to get COVID-19 vaccines to those who need them.

In his first media briefing of the new year on Wednesday, Ford said they’re throwing everything at it.

“We did over 10,000 vaccinations… yesterday, and we’re going to continue to ramp up.”

Ford said the province needed more vaccines.

“We’re going to run out,” said the premier. “You know, the shipment that’s landing, we got 24-hour’s notice, and that’s going to be gone next week.”

As of Tuesday, at 8 p.m., the province had administered nearly 9,800 vaccines and more than 60,000 to date.

The urgency to get more jabs into people comes as new infections are running at the rate of 3,000 every day, and the number of patients being hospitalized with the virus and cared for in ICU continues to grow.

Ford said the logistics of the vaccine rollout was a nightmare because the province doesn’t know how much it will be getting a month down the road.

“When you have a large operation and you’re getting 24-hour’s notice before we get the shipment,” he explained. “We’ll run out of the Pfizer vaccine by today or tomorrow, at the latest. The new shipments arriving we’ll be run out of that by late next week.”

Ford said long-term care residents and health care workers will continue to be first in line for vaccines, with all the hot areas covered, referencing Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto and York.

Ford was asked if Ontario was prepared to copy Quebec, where Premier Francois Legault is expected to announce a severe lockdown later later on Wednesday. Legault is also reportedly planning to impose a curfew.

Ford said he was working with his chief medical officer of health and would be speaking to Premier Legault tonight.

“We’ll be making that decision over the next few days,” he added.

The premier also said a decision about whether elementary students would return to in-class learning on Monday was expected in the next day or so.

Ontario reported 3,266 cases of COVID-19 and 37 more deaths on Wednesday.