Ontario to vaccinate all long-term care residents and workers in hotspots by Jan. 21

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

All long-term care residents, workers and essential caregivers in COVID-19 hot spots will be vaccinated by Jan. 21, the Ontario government said Tuesday as it faced criticism over the slow pace of the vaccine rollout.

The pledge covers those living and working in nursing homes in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and Windsor-Essex, but the province did not offer a  timeline for the rest of the seniors homes in the province.

The province also announced Tuesday that it will start administering COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario's Indigenous communities later this week.  ORNGE air ambulances will assist with efforts to bring the vaccine to 31 fly-in communities in the north.

Premier Doug Ford acknowledged the government's vaccine rollout plan had hit ``a couple of bumps in the road'' but expressed confidence that the Jan. 21 deadline would be met.

The news came on a day that the province reported 22 more long-term care resident deaths, bringing the total to 2,865 since the start of the pandemic.

So far, approximately 50,000 long-term care home residents have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while nearly 3,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine have also been administered.