Paula McMahon prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the mass public vaccination program gets underway, at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. Health Canada approved the vaccine Wednesday. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via AP)

Region of Waterloo Public Health officials say the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine is "critical" as they target high-risk populations and start administering second doses.

As of Jan. 10, 6,823 health-care workers had received the vaccine.

The region says they have a "limited supply," meaning vaccinations are taking place using a "just-in-time inventory." Officials say there is no extra vaccine in storage and all doses are accounted for.

Health officials and community partners are working to create mobile vaccination teams for long-term care residents.

“Our capacity to vaccinate has tripled over the past two weeks and I am confident we can continue to ramp up operations to vaccinate more people, more quickly,” says Dept. Chief Shirley Hilton of the Waterloo Regional Police Service and head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force, in a news release. “The greatest obstacle right now is supply since we can only vaccinate using what we have. Our current vaccine supply is allocated to high-priority groups most at-risk. Increasing vaccine supply in Waterloo Region will allow us to vaccinate these groups much more quickly.”

The region remains in the first phase of vaccine distribution, focusing on health-care and long-term care home workers, along with care home residents.

The second phase will focus on other congregate care settings and people over the age of 70.

Vaccination of the broader community is expected in July.

Residents are asked to continue following public health guidelines to prevent further spread of the disease.