By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
With shipments of more than 6,000 COVID-19 vaccines expected this week, the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit will be initiating vaccination clinics for the next group to be completed under the provincial vaccine distribution plan.
The 1,700 Moderna doses the health unit is expecting to receive will be used to provide the second dose to those residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes who got their first dose last month, while the expected 4,500 Pfizer doses will be used to vaccinate staff of long-term care and retirement homes, essential caregivers in those facilities, and health-care workers in area hospitals.
Scheduled to be vaccinated next – possibly beginning in March – are persons receiving home and community care, as well as other community members who are 80 years of age and older.
“We are hearing that the shipment of vaccine expected this week is the beginning of an abundance of available vaccine that will be sent out across the province,” Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Gemmill said in the announcement.
“We know that people have been anxiously awaiting their turn to be vaccinated, and I want to assure them that their turn is coming. We just all need to be patient as we receive more vaccine.”
The health unit is working with local hospitals and health-care partners on this next round of vaccinations, along with the hospitals’ own staff.
Once additional amounts of vaccine are received, the health unit will begin offering clinics for residents aged 80 years or older. As soon as these clinics for older adults are confirmed and the registration process finalized, Dr. Gemmill said that details will be provided to the community on how these older residents can be vaccinated.
“Our goal is to ensure that we get the vaccine into as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible,” he stated.
“As soon as we have the vaccine and the details for clinics, we will share that information with our residents so they can get vaccinated.”
Based on the province’s vaccine distribution plan, the next phase of vaccinations will focus on older adults living in the community under the age of 80 years and other higher-risk sectors of the population – and then, eventually all members of the community who wish to be vaccinated.