Only half of LTC residents in Ontario vaccinated as UK variant threatens LTC homes
HAMILTON — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to speed up vaccinations in long-term care, saying it’s unacceptable to have only inoculated half of the seniors living in Ontario’s nursing homes against COVID-19 with the province in the grips of the second wave.
Horwath’s call comes on heels of the revelation that a more contagious variant is now likely in at least one long-term care home: Roberta Place. Only about 35,000 long-term care residents have been vaccinated, despite the province receiving nearly 280,000 doses of vaccine, including enough Moderna vaccine to give every long-term care resident their first dose.
“Imagine the terror of living in a long-term care home with COVID-19 in your community or in your building. Imagine the horror families are feeling, knowing the new UK variant could be knocking on the door of their loved one’s home,” said Horwath. “Families are living through anguish, asking again and again if this is the week their parent or grandparent will get a dose of the vaccine. For a lot of people, that dose didn’t arrive in time.”
“After the devastation of the first wave, Ontario should have had a plan to rush vaccines to this vulnerable population long before shipments of doses arrived in Ontario, but the Ford government didn’t invest in advance planning. They left vaccines sitting in freezers, and for some reason let some who work in offices or from home get their shots before seniors in long-term care — a brutal, frustrating and unfair failure.”
While there is a delay in shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, most long-term care residents are slated to receive the Moderna vaccine, which has not been impacted by any delays.
The government claims they’ve vaccinated non-infected and eligible long-term care residents in Toronto, Peel, Windsor-Essex and York – roughly 50,000 residents at the most. The Toronto Star puts the current number of vaccinated long-term care residents at 35,000.