POLITICS
02/11/2021 15:33 EST | Updated 02/11/2021 15:34 EST

Ontario Minister Merrilee Fullerton 'Regrets' Falsely Saying Vaccinations Done In Nursing Homes

The province had set itself a deadline of Feb. 10 to vaccinate all residents in long-term care homes.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario's Minister of Long-Term Care listens to updates regarding the Ontario COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto on Jan. 5, 2021.

TORONTO — Ontario’s minister of long-term care is apologizing for an earlier statement that claimed all residents in the province’s long-term care homes had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The province had promised to achieve that goal by Feb. 10, and this morning Long-term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton said in a statement that the goal had been met.

But a spokeswoman for Fullerton issued a statement this afternoon that says residents in a few long-term care homes have yet to receive the first dose of the vaccine.

Krystle Caputo says “a miscommunication” was to blame for the error, which the government “regrets.”

She says the government expects the outstanding homes will be finished in the coming days.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care said earlier today that more than 62,000 residents had received the first dose of the vaccine, and more than 34,000 of them had received their second dose.

The provincial government said it would maintain the recommended interval of 21-27 days for residents who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Latest case numbers in Ontario

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 945 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, although public health officials said that number was underreported.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 258 new cases in Peel Region, 116 in York Region, and 112 in Toronto.

A spokeswoman for the ministry said that as Toronto continues to migrate its case counts to the provincial database, Ontario’s daily tally is underreported.

Ontario also reported 14 more deaths linked to the virus.

More than 68,800 tests were completed since Wednesday’s report.

The province said that 14,717 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since the last daily update.

A total of 426,836 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Ontario so far.

 

There have been 282,511 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario since the pandemic began, 263,044 of which have been resolved and 6,614 have led to death.

Ontario will present its latest projections for the spread of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who is part of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said he’ll be presenting the new data an hour after Ontario’s education minister is expected to announce whether March break will be cancelled for the province’s schools.

Stephen Lecce will make his announcement at 2 p.m. with the health minister and the province’s top doctor.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2021.