BARRIE, ONT. -- The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine is on its way to Grey Bruce.

Grey Bruce Public Health says the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be arriving this week, while a second shipment is expected to arrive the week of Jan. 25.

Public health says the shipments will include approximately 1,000 doses.

"With the province sending us this shipment of the vaccine, we are now able to look forward to hammering the first nail in the coffin of this pandemic," Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra, said in a news release on Sunday.

Vaccinations from the first two shipments will be given to residents, staff, and essential workers in long-term care.

Arra said the doses will be kept in an ultra low-temperature freezer donated by Bruce Power and that two similar appliances purchased by Chapman's Ice Cream to help the local vaccination effort have not arrived yet.

The agency explains that because of the small sizes of the initial shipments, not all residents and staff will be able to receive the vaccine right away. As more shipments arrive, the remaining group will have the chance to be immunized.

with a file from Siobhan Morris