A single postal code in Waterloo Region has been included in a new plan the province announced Tuesday that allows people 50 and over to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Those 50-plus whose postal code begins with N2C, which is in Kitchener, will be allowed to pre-register for a vaccination beginning Thursday, according to Waterloo Public Health.
The area includes the following neighbourhoods: Vanier/Rockway, Country Hills, Alpine/Laurentian, Victoria Hills/Cherry Hill and Shades Mills.
“Members of the public who are 50+ and live in one of the identified high-risk neighbourhoods are strongly encouraged to pre-register for the vaccine, and when they receive notification that it’s their turn to book an appointment, to do so right away,” Waterloo Public Health stated.
A provincial spokesperson told Global News the hotspots are in historic and ongoing areas with “high rates of death, hospitalization and transmission.”
“We have to go into the hot spots,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday as he unveiled further details of the second phase of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“We have to go into the high-priority essential manufacturers, the meat packers, … the manufacturing sector, large, large companies.”
Government officials said those living in hot spot neighbourhoods in 13 public health units — many of them essential workers — will be able to book their vaccine appointments over the next few weeks.
When the government released the list of postal codes involved, there was only one in Waterloo Region and one in Guelph (N1K).
The province was not clear on any of the other details but said that the Ministry of Health is working with public health units to ensure timely access to vaccines among the identified communities through all available vaccine delivery channels, including pharmacies, mass vaccination clinics, and mobile teams.
The province said it hopes to vaccinate nine million people during the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan which began in April and lasts until June.
The list of people in this phase also includes people ages 60 and up, those working in congregate settings, those who cannot work from home, and those who are in at-risk populations.
Waterloo Public Health already began to preregister many of those involved over the past couple of weeks in March.
The province says 18.5 per cent of residents have already received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine although locally, that number sits at just over 14 per cent.
— with files from Canadian Press
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