TORONTO — Refocusing Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to prioritize long-term care residents would prevent a projected 115 deaths and hundreds more cases, a new report says.
The brief published Thursday from experts advising the government on COVID-19 predicts that administering a first dose to all long-term care residents by Jan. 31 would save lives.
It says the January date would prevent 600 cases compared with the government’s current plan to vaccinate all long-term care residents by Feb. 15.
The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table made the forecasts by modelling best and worst outcomes from three vaccine rollout scenarios.
It says further accelerating the rollout to care home residents would prevent even more deaths and infections.
If vaccine supply is limited, the report says it’s likely beneficial to send first doses to care home residents rather than health-care workers outside the sector waiting for second doses.