'A turning point in the pandemic for Niagara' COVID vaccine arrives in the region

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The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Niagara. 

A release from Niagara Health says needles will begin to go into the arms of healthcare workers, essential caregivers, as well as residents at long-term care and high-risk retirement homes tomorrow.

Niagara Health System President and CEO Lynn Guerriero says over the next three weeks over 11,000 doses are expected. 

Guerriero is confident all residents and health care staff  in LTC's in the region will be vaccinated with those doses. 

Niagara Health will begin vaccinating front-line healthcare workers in long-term care homes and hospitals at a clinic set up at the St. Catharines hospital.

At the same time, Public Health will deploy small teams to long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes to vaccinate residents.

Guerriero says they decided to go ahead with first doses even though the supply chain of vaccine is not locked down. 

She says second dose delivery is something they have to be mindful of going forward. 

“This is the day we’ve all been waiting for and a turning point in Niagara’s pandemic response,” said Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO of Niagara Health. “The sharp increase of COVID-19 activity in our hospital and community is serious, and these vaccines are critical to save lives and protect hospital services. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be working with NRPH&ES to vaccinate more than 11,000 people in Niagara.”