The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Dryden.

Princess Court Administrator Patrick Berrey says 43 residents received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday afternoon, which he said was an exciting time for both staff and patients.

The first doses in Kenora were administered at Pinecrest yesterday afternoon, with over 500 being doled out in the Meno Ya Win Health Centre over the last week.

The province said they'd have all long-term care residents vaccinated by February 5, and staff with the Northwestern Health Unit are confident they can meet that goal.

During a briefing Monday at Queen's Park, retired general Rick Hillier -- who leads the province's vaccination distribution -- estimated close to 80 per cent of long-term care homes had already received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

In February, Ornge Air Ambulance will lead the vaccine's rollout to 31 fly-in communities. Staff say the Canadian Rangers will be supporting their mission if required, and if desired and approved by each community.

Premier Doug Ford says mass vaccinations for phase two of the rollout program will take place in April, May and June, which focuses on the elderly, frontline workers and those most at-risk. The third phase, the remainder of the population, is expected in the summer.

COVID-19 vaccines are expected to only be available for non-pregnant adults over the age of 18. However, the groups authorized to receive vaccines could change and the program could be expanded.

For more information:
Vaccine reaches Pinecrest
Health unit to meet vaccination deadline for long-term care