The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is starting to vaccinate residents, as its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines has arrived.
In accordance with the Ontario government’s mandate for the immunization of priority populations, the vaccines are being administered to residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care (LTC) homes starting, Wednesday, January 13.
Local EMS paramedics and public health nurses from the EOHU will administer the vaccines within the LTC homes.
“This is excellent news for our region,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. “Vaccinating residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes will help protect our most vulnerable residents, who have been the most harshly affected by the spread of COVID-19.”
The EOHU says the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines are from Pfizer, however, it is expected that Moderna vaccines will also arrive in the EOHU region in the coming weeks.
Due to a limited supply of vaccines, the Ontario government’s Phase 1 roll-out of the vaccine prioritizes individuals who are at higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19, developing a severe illness or dying from it. Vaccinations will begin with residents, staff and essential caregivers at long-term care homes and retirement homes, before moving on to other groups as more vaccine stock arrives in the region.
Vaccine delivery is expected to accelerate over the coming months.
The EOHU explains that as vaccine stock increases, vaccination will expand to more groups. It is anticipated that by at least this fall, anyone who wants a vaccine will have access to one.
The EOHU says it will notify the public as the vaccine becomes available to different population groups.
For more information and the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine, residents can visit the EOHU's website.