Ontario expedites COVID-19 vaccinations in long-term care as military lends support

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Canada's largest province plans to administer the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in all nursing and high-risk retirement homes by the middle of next month as it works to boost its immunization capacity.

The Ontario government says it is stepping up immunizations in long-term care homes now that it has protocols in place to safely transport the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has strict storage requirements.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also says the federal government has once again offered the support of the military, which was sent to help the hard-hit long-term care sector during the first wave of the pandemic.

Ford's office says the province has requested and is currently receiving help in the form of military field hospitals, military logistics advisors to bolster the vaccine rollout, and Red Cross teams in a selection of long-term care facilities.

Long-term care has borne the brunt of the pandemic, accounting for more than 3,000 of the province's more than 5,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The province reported 74 more deaths from the virus today, and 2,961 new infections. It also said more than 11,000 vaccines have been administered since its last daily report.

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