Husband and wife receive first COVID-19 vaccine in Haileybury
NORTH BAY -- It was a big day in Haileybury Tuesday as a husband and wife, Therese and Alphege Charbonneau, stepped up to be the first residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The married couple lives at Extendicare Tri-Town in Haileybury, part of Temiskaming Shores, and was the first of many vaccinations for the Timiskaming Health Unit.
"Yesterday was a major landmark for our district’s COVID-19 response," said Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Glen Corneil in a media release. "When we get the vaccine into the arms of long-term care home residents, we protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19."
Carol Johnson, the administrator for Extendicare Tri-Town told CTV News that 53 residents and three staff members at the long-term care home have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19.
"We look forward for to the second round of vaccinations which will take place on Feb. 23," said Johnson. "I want to thank the Timiskaming Public Health Vaccine Program for their work in coordinating and helping to administer the vaccines today, and the Government of Ontario for prioritizing long-term care homes as among the first to receive vaccines in our province, given the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on our sector."
With the vaccine now in the district, officials say the goal is to "meet the provincial expectation that residents receive their first dose by Feb. 5" in long-term care homes.
As part of Phase 1 of Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan, the Timiskaming Health Unit said it will be "working closely with partners as vaccine supply becomes available to identify priority groups to receive early vaccination." That includes residents, essential caregivers, and staff of congregate care settings for seniors. Health care workers, adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations and adult recipients of chronic home health care are also on the priority list.
The health unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the long-term care home on Jan. 22 after three staff members tested positive for the disease as part of the ongoing provincial surveillance program.
As of last Friday, there are still three active cases of COVID-19 in the Timiskaming District. A total of 89 cases have been confirmed to date, with 86 of those considered resolved, including one COVID fatality on Jan. 11. Most of those cases have been in the last month and since Christmas Eve the district has seen an additional 58 cases.