The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit could administer more vaccine doses than it currently is if there was enough supply.

“I believe if we had the vaccine supply, we could do upwards of three to five thousand doses a day,” stated Andrea McLellan, Director of the Health Unit’s COVID-19 Immunization Strategy during Thursday’s media conference.

Currently, the Health Unit is averaging between 600 and 1,000 doses per day, with nearly 21 percent of the region’s adult population having received at least one shot so far.

It comes as municipalities in the region, along with the Health Unit, are advocating the provincial government to allocate more vaccines to northern health units.

North Bay council passed a motion Tuesday specifically requesting unused vaccine doses from southern Ontario hotspots be sent to northern regions, citing concerns that the southern parts of the province are too far ahead in the vaccine rollout.

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, acknowledged the difference in vaccine allocations between the hot spot areas and our region.

“Every time there is a change to the groups that are being vaccinated in southern Ontario, it also applies to us and we don’t have the vaccine to catch up to them,” he said, adding the Health Unit is open to receiving more vaccines however they may come

McLellan adds the Health Unit has not yet seen an increase in vaccine allocations, saying they are still advocating to get more supply to the region.

The Health Unit has administered over 23,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday afternoon.

Written by Greg Bowman