After delays in shipments for the coronavirus vaccine, retired general Rick Hillier is offering an update on the province's plans for vaccinations.

"We can't lay out a specific date and time for when an age bracket will have vaccines available," he said, during yesterday's briefing.

Hillier is in charge of getting vaccines across Ontario, and he's had to adjust his plans due to recent delays in shipments. 

"What we're telling you is the sequencing of how we will do it, and when the vaccines arrive, we can be more precise and more specific and talk about where you should go," he continued. 

While the province had hoped to have all long-term care residents vaccinated by Feb. 5, he said it will more likely be Feb. 10, as a result of delays in shipments from the vaccine manufacturers.

At the briefing, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was also candid in his comments.

"I'll be honest, the shipment delays for the Pfizer vaccine have been incredibly disappointing, and to be told on Friday that we would receive 18,200 less doses of the Moderna vaccine, I can't stress how frustrating that is," he told the media, during his introductory comments yesterday. 

As a result of all the uncertainty, the premier said last week it was also very difficult for them to plan or make predictions for the restart of the economy.

"We've seen it before. Remember when we were down to a hundred, and everyone thought 'Way to go!' and wham it hit us in the back side," he said last Friday. 

Last July, the number of new cases in a day dropped to 172. However, it's climbed to more than 6,000 new cases a day in the days leading up to Christmas, then peaked at 9,213 on January 8.

Hillier also offered a bit more information for Indigenous people, during yesterday's briefing.

"We also want to work with the First Nations and Indigenous people of Ontario and work through the First Nations reserves around Ontario, based on a priority matrix that their leadership has been helping to develop," he added. 

The premier acknowledged the delays and uncertainty have made it difficult to plan. 

"The uncertainty is a real problem. If you look at it, since we've rolled out these vaccines, General Hillier and his team have had to change their plans three times, and that's tough," the premier said, noting the size and the population of Ontario.

During his briefing yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans to produce vaccines within the country, but it could be late summer or even fall, before Canadian-made vaccines are shipped.

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