Southwestern Public Health to administer 895 vaccines by week’s end

·2 min read

Last week, 345 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in local long term care homes experiencing outbreaks in Elgin and Oxford counties.

The Pfizer BioNtech vaccinations were administered to residents at Extendicare in Port Stanley, PeopleCare in Tavistock, and Maple Manor in Tillsonburg. Southwestern Public Health (SPH) is on track to administer another 550 first doses this week.

“This is a hopeful time in public health, and in the pandemic overall,” said SPH spokesperson Natalie Rowe.

The health unit is continuing to focus on first-dose vaccinations to residents at long-term care homes. Their next focus will be on retirement home residents.

Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine take place between 21 and 28 days from the initial dose.

“Our timeline is to begin administering second doses during the week of February 1, pending vaccine availability,” said Ms. Rowe.

Due to a limited supply of the vaccine, the initial allocation was prioritized for individuals who have not yet tested positive for COVID-19. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are expected to have a level of natural immunity upon recovery.

The province of Ontario has sequenced its immunization rollout into three phases, with timelines subject to vaccine supply.

Phase 1 is dedicated to high-risk community members, such as long-term care and retirement home staff, residents and caregivers, followed by hospital-based care workers, First nations, Metis, and Inuit communities. This phase is expected to last until the end of March.

Phase 2 will see broader vaccination of essential workers, adults aged over 75, adults aged 60-75, at-risk populations, and eventually adults aged 16-60 through vaccination clinics. This begins in April and will last until the end of July.

Phase 3 will continue mass immunization once a steady supply of vaccine is available. These will be in immunization clinics at public health and pharmacies. This starts in August.

30

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express