COVID-19 vaccines given to 73% of Health PEI staff so far, premier says

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Front-line health care workers on Prince Edward Island were among the first to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine in late 2020. About one quarter of Health PEI staff have yet to receive a dose, however.  (Channi Anand/The Associated Press - image credit)
Front-line health care workers on Prince Edward Island were among the first to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine in late 2020. About one quarter of Health PEI staff have yet to receive a dose, however. (Channi Anand/The Associated Press - image credit)

About 73 per cent of Health PEI's 6,000 workers have received at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19, Premier Dennis King said in the legislature Wednesday.

He said that does not include figures for staff at EMS and Prince Edward Island's long-term care facilities, which were targeted for the first round of vaccination starting in December 2020.

King was replying to questions on vaccinations for health care workers posed by Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker a day earlier.

"We've been told non-medical staff haven't been given the opportunity," Bevan-Baker said.

He cited orderlies and cleaning staff in particular as people who often come into contact with patients and members of the public.

King said at that time that a "large, large percentage" had been fully vaccinated but promised to come back with the statistics.

Wednesday he said Health PEI workers have been sorted into five groups for the purposes of receiving vaccines, with the higher-risk groups at the front of the line.

37% of Health PEI staff fully vaccinated

An email from Health PEI provided more details later Wednesday afternoon.

"Since April 8, all front-line health care workers can book appointments at the large clinics and since April 15, non-frontline health care workers are eligible to book appointments," the email said.

A total of 37 per cent of employees, or 2,100 workers, have received a second vaccine dose and "additional second doses continue to be scheduled," the email said.

Some staff aren't able to be vaccinated for personal health reasons, it said.

The more than 4,200 Health PEI employees who have received at least a first dose does not include fee-for-service physicians, the email added.

Prince Edward Island officials have targeted July 1 as the date by which all eligible adults who want to be vaccinated will have received at least one dose.

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