WINDSOR, ONT. -- Ontario is distributing additional doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 17 more hospital sites over the next two weeks, including Windsor Regional Hospital.

The province released the locations on Friday, selecting areas with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and Windsor Regional Hospital are coordinating efforts to plan the rollout of initial, limited vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus starting next week.

The plan will see a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Each individual would require two doses of the vaccine.

“We cannot yet confirm specific numbers of doses we expect to receive and the exact date for initial vaccinations is not confirmed at this time,” said a joint news release from WECHU and Windsor Regional Hospital.

The first group the Ontario government is focusing on is employees who work at long-term care/retirement homes not in outbreak in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control regions in the province. Windsor-Essex has been in lockdown since Dec. 14.

The individual LTC/RH employees will be independently scheduled for inoculation. The Pfizer vaccine requires the individuals being inoculated to attend to the site of the vaccine. The movement of the vaccine is not allowed from its initial delivery site.

The vaccine must be stored in freezers at -80 degree Celsius until prepared clinically for inoculation.

Health officials say as more vaccines become available, the hospital and health unit and hospital will continue to follow the Government of Ontario’s priority list, which focuses on the following four groups of individuals:

  • Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-termcare homes and retirement homes) that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection andserious illness from COVID-19;
  • Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and otherhealth care personnel;
  • Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where risk of transmission is high; and
  • Adult recipients of chronic home health care.

The 17 hospitals are part of the initial phase of the government's three-phase vaccine implementation plan that began on Dec. 14 with the initial vaccinations administered at Toronto's University Health Network, followed by the launch of the pilot project at UHN and The Ottawa Hospital on Dec. 15.

Ontario is expecting to receive up to 90,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses from the federal government before the end of the year.