Rodrigo Diaz M.

Ontario today established a more concise schedule for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to the elderly.

The plan established by the Ontario government calls for residents 80 and older to receive vaccines beginning the third week of March, although officials stressed that it relies heavily on the province’s supply of vaccines.

The head of the province’s vaccination task force, retired Gen. Rick Hiller, said those over 75 should start getting vaccinated in mid-April, and those over 70 in early May. Those over 65 will be next in June, and those over 60 will start getting vaccinated the following month.

Reservations for vaccines will be made online and through a service desk, which will be available on March 15, he said.

For its part, the National Association of Friendship Centers asked the federal government to coordinate a deployment of vaccines for indigenous people living in urban communities, as it is doing in collaboration with the First Nations and Inuit governments for the who live on reserves.

The organization’s executive director, Jocelyn Formsma, called on the federal government to consider distributing the doses to clinics that serve indigenous people in urban areas, rather than waiting for the provinces to do so. He said that more than 50 clinics run by his organization could administer the vaccines.

But the indigenous services minister, Marc Miller, said that the distribution of vaccines to the indigenous people outside the reserves will be faster and more efficient if it is done through the provinces.

At the same time, active cases of the virus in First Nations communities are declining across Canada, the minister said. He reported 1,443 active cases in the reserves until yesterday, adding that vaccination has begun in 440 indigenous communities.

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