Ontario Premier Doug Ford addressed concerns over the lack of a vaccine rollout for northern Ontario and said in a news conference Friday morning the region will soon see shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said he's been in constant communication with local health officials about the rollout and areas like Sudbury, North Bay and other communities will be addressed.
Ford said hot spots and long-term care homes in the province are the priority for now.
More than 87,500 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario, the most in Canada, Ford said.
When the vaccines are readily available for the north, he said frontline health care workers, long-term care homes and seniors will be looked after first.
Right now the priority regions are anticipated to run out of the vaccine by the end of next week.
The premier said the province needs more vaccines from the federal government and that if people continue to ignore public health measures, the government will have to look at imposing further and more extreme measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
Friday morning alone, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported over 4,200 new cases, including a backlog of 450 new infections. This marks a grim new record in the province.
Meanwhile, northern health officials are finalizing plans for distribution when it arrives.
As of Friday at 2:30 p.m., there are 156 active cases of COVID-19 in northeastern Ontario after a big spike following the holidays.