Pharmacies in the region to offer vaccine

·3 min read

Some pharmacies in the region will begin offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to those age 55 and older. These pharmacies include a Shopper Drug Mart in Dryden, No Frills pharmacy in Kenora and Pharmasave in Fort Frances. The public health clinics have also expanded to include anyone aged 60 and over.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), said adults aged 55 and older who would like to receive an AstraZeneca shot from a pharmacy can register online on the pharmacy webpage.

More information about the pharmacy COVID-19 vaccination program can also be found on the province’s web page

“At this point we’re still working with them to make sure things are up and running. The pharmacy program is primarily though the province, so we provide some support,” Young Hoon said.

Those eligible to receive the vaccine at the NWHU vaccination clinics are those aged 60 and older, healthcare workers including staff who work in congregate living settings, adult homecare recipients, faith leaders who provide end-of-life care, care of deceased, funerals, home visits to unwell persons or pastoral care in hospitals and long-term care homes and other health care facilities. Another eligible group is Indigenous adults including Métis.

Young Hoon said they were recently dealing with a situation where they were expecting a delay for over a week which means they needed to stop bookings in order to have enough vaccines.

“We did stop booking for a period of time but now more vaccines have arrived, so we’ve opened up more spots based on the numbers and the estimates we are given by the province to allow people to book until the end of April,” Young Hoon said. “It’s constantly revisited and adjusted to make sure that we have enough vaccines for people.”

Three new cases were reported in the Sioux Lookout health hub on Tuesday.

There are currently 43 active cases in the region, nine in the Dryden health hub, 13 in the Kenora health hub, one in the Fort Frances health hub and 20 in the Sioux Lookout health hub.

During the week of March 29 to April 4, the region had 32 new confirmed cases, 10 in the Kenora health hub, 14 in the Sioux Lookout health hub, seven in the Dryden health hub and one in the Fort Frances health hub.

Two new hospitalizations occurred and there are currently four people in the region hospitalized due to COVID.

Of the 32 new cases, three were related to an outbreak and seven were close contact of previous cases. The source of exposure remains unknown for 22 of the new cases.

Young Hoon said at this point the NWHU is treating every case as a possible variant.

“Case and contact management is ongoing and self-isolation is being followed as appropriate,” Young Hoon said. “At this point variants of concern are particularly worrying because they do increase the likelihood of transmission and they can increase the likelihood of being admitted to the intensive care unit.”

Natali Trivuncic, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times