SUDBURY -- The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to arrive Feb. 1, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit said Friday.

"However, due to a limited supply of vaccines throughout the province and Canada, there may be a delay receiving our first shipment of vaccines," the health unit said in a news release.

The Ministry of Health has announced plans to begin vaccinating residents, staff and essential caregivers of long-term care homes no later than Feb. 15. The health unit said when vaccines do arrive, it will be prioritizing residents of long-term care homes.

If there are enough vaccines, priority will also be given to:

- Staff, essential caregivers (including family caregivers) and other employees in long-term care settings, retirement homes and congregate living settings for seniors;

- Healthcare workers, including hospital employees, staff who work or study in hospitals and health care personnel;

- Adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations;

- Adult recipients of chronic home health care.

"The health unit will continue to update the district on the status of the COVID-19 vaccine as information becomes available," the release said.