Niagara's top doc wants residents of LTC and retirement homes to get vaccine first


Niagara's Acting Medical Officer of Health has mixed emotions over news the region will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in less than a week.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji joined CKTB's Tom McConnell with reaction after Conservative Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff announced the vaccine would arrive in Niagara early next week. 

Dr. Hirji says it's definitely good news that the vaccine is finally coming to Niagara, but what he saw in Oosterhoff's statement, is that it will be given to frontline healthcare and long-term care workers first.

Hirji says that is an important group of people to vaccinate, but the people disproportionately dying of COVID in Niagara are residents of long-term care and retirement homes.

Hirji says of the 29 new deaths reported today, 26 are residents of Niagara's long-term care and retirement homes.

He says Public Health can use their relationship with long-term care homes to get residents vaccinated quickly.

110 new infections were reported today bringing our active number of cases to 947.

The number of people being treated in hospital for the virus has dropped from 95 yesterday to 83 today.

Ontario is reporting 3266 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 37 more deaths.

The province says 1463 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 361 in intensive care -- 132 of whom are on ventilators.