“It is going to be the way to get the pandemic under control and help return us to normal lives,” Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s (SMDHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner said about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We don’t know for sure when we will start getting the vaccine,” he said. “It’s possible it could be as early as next week.” Gardner said SMDHU will work with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie as well as the City of Barrie to distribute the vaccine when they do get it.

Gardner said getting the vaccine made and approved in less than a year is an “incredible achievement.”

He said he anticipates more vaccines will be approved soon and supplied to parts of the country. “It will have to be targeting high-risk individuals,” he said. He added that includes people like health care workers and seniors. After vaccinating the “most vulnerable” Gardner said they will branch out to all those who want it in the public.

Because we’re in the early stages of vaccine distribution, Garder said it’s possible information will change over time. If that does happen, he said SMDHU will be transparent in relaying that new information to the public.