COVID vaccine arriving in northeastern Ontario
SUDBURY -- The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at three health units in northeastern Ontario, officials said Monday.
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and the Timiskaming Health Unit both announced Monday they have received the vaccine, after Public Health Sudbury announced their vaccine arrival earlier in the day.
The health unit in North Bay said their shipment said vaccinations will start this week.
"The shipment is small and is allotted to residents of long-term care, as prioritized in phase one of the province of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program," the health unit said in a news release.
"The Health Unit has been in contact with long-term care homes to start the immunization process. It is anticipated to have all long-term care home residents and elder care residents of First Nations communities immunized by the provincial deadline of Feb. 5."
Vaccine priority will be given to staff, essential caregivers (including family caregivers) and other employees in long-term care settings. Residents, staff, essential caregivers (including family caregivers) and other employees in retirement homes and congregate living settings for seniors are also a top priority.
Other groups include healthcare workers, including hospital employees, adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations and adult recipients of chronic home health care.
The Timiskaming Health Unit said it will be collaborating with long-term care facilities in order to support vaccination clinics.
“The trucked rolled in this morning to deliver our district’s first vaccine doses,” Dr. Glenn Corneil, acting medical officer of health, said in a news release. “We are excited to begin getting vaccines into arms so that we can protect our most vulnerable.”
The health unit has the same goal of immunizing residents of all long-term care homes across the district to meet the provincial expectation that residents receive their first dose by Feb. 5.
“It is impressive that we have received our doses on the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canada,” said Corneil. “Health Canada conducted an expedited, or rolling, approval process for the vaccine that made it possible for Canadians to receive vaccines quickly, while at the same time taking no shortcuts in vaccine approval.”
The Timiskaming Health Unit has the overall responsibility for the local implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program. The province is leading the overall COVID-19 immunization strategy for Ontario and has identified who will get the vaccine first.