‘We need the vaccines’: Doug Ford says Ontario could administer 150K shots per day

Premier Doug Ford says Ontario has the capacity to administer many more COVID-19 vaccines than the province is currently averaging per day, but says there is not enough supply.

Ford made the comments during a rare Sunday morning press conference, held ahead of the launch of a provincial vaccination booking system Monday morning.

“We’re ready to ramp up immediately to 150,000 vaccinations a day. We just need more [vaccines],” Ford said.

Read more: Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine booking system open to residents aged 80 and older starting Monday

“We have the capacity to do 4.8 million in a month and we have 1.4 million coming in throughout March.”

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, 1,158,355 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario, marking an increase of 41,859 over 24 hours.

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In the previous 24-hour period, Ontario administered a record 53,586 doses. Over the past week, Ontario administered anywhere from just under 22,000 doses in a day to the record of over 53,000.

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“We have the infrastructure. We have the people,” Ford said.

“Now we need the vaccines. It’s as simple as that. I know the federal government is trying. They’re doing their best. All I’m just pointing out is we just don’t have enough vaccines, simple as that.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Ontario’s online vaccine booking system to launch Monday' 1:24Coronavirus: Ontario’s online vaccine booking system to launch Monday

Coronavirus: Ontario’s online vaccine booking system to launch Monday

Ford said of the 443,000 doses currently listed as being in Ontario freezers, 160,000 are AstraZeneca shots which have been distributed to pharmacies. Another 160,000 doses are from Moderna, which arrived in the province on Saturday, leaving around 120,000 other doses.

Meanwhile, starting Monday morning at 8 a.m., residents aged 80 and older, or those acting on their behalf, will be able to schedule their shots using a new provincial booking system.

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The government has established a website and phone line to help eligible residents secure their immunization appointments.

Officials said they expect the age requirement to be lowered to 75 and older at the beginning of April.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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