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WATCH: Two million more COVID-19 vaccines expected to arrive in Ontario before the end of the month

Province expecting to hit one million vaccine doses administered early next week

Ontario Premier Doug Ford provided a COVID-19 vaccine update on March 5, stating that more than two million additional vaccines are expected to be available in Ontario before the end of March.

The Premier also made mention of the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson single shot vaccine, adding a fourth vaccine to the country's arsenal.

"We're now looking ahead and gearing up for Phase Two with a focus on vaccinating those who face the greatest risk from this virus," said Ford.

"Our seniors, individuals with specific health conditions, people living in congregate settings and those who can not work from home such as first responders."

As vaccine supplies increase, the province will be making efforts to make vaccines readily-available to everyone who wants one.

Starting March 15, the province will launch an online booking system and a provincial customer service desk to answer questions and support appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics.

This will initially support individuals over the age of 80 as part of Phase One, eventually extending to more groups during Phase Two.

"The light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter so let's keep working together to beat this," said Ford.

Gen. Rick Hillier (ret.), chair of the COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force says there has been a "seismic shift" in the past three to five days in the province's vaccination opportunities.

Phase One of Ontario's vaccination rollout is well underway, with 820,000 doses administered and over 269,000 Ontarians fully immunized.

More than 95 per cent of long-term care residents are fully immunized and public health units are working with homes to vaccinate staff and essential caregivers as a priority.

"We have a steady flow of vaccines and we have confidence that the flow will continue uninterrupted, or we're gaining confidence every day that the flow will continue uninterrupted for the vaccines arriving in Ontario," said Hillier.

"Not only will it continue to flow uninterrupted it will grow every single week."

Hillier projects that within the coming weeks, Ontario will have 113 mass vaccination sites up and running. 

"Almost a million needles are in the arms of people of Ontario," said Hillier. "We're working right now to set ourselves up for success going forward when greatly increased numbers arrive."

By Tuesday next week, there will have been one million needles in arms of Ontarians and by Tuesday morning the province will have emptied its freezers and awaiting the arrival of more vaccines.

On March 4, the province vaccinated 36,000 people and before lunch on Friday 15,000 more people received the COVID-19 vaccine.

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