Vaccinations delays push back inoculation deadline

·3 min read

The province has extended its deadline for vaccinating all long-term care home residents to Feb. 10.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), said the extension is due to delays in the delivery of the vaccine.

“Vaccine supply comes in as we need it and as is available to the province,” Young Hoon said. “After this week and next week, it will be uncertain what future vaccine allocations we’ll be getting. That information does seem to change regularly and I think that’s because the vaccine supply is not necessarily stable at this point.”

Young Hoon adds that despite the uncertainty, they expect to meet this new vaccination deadline.

Young Hoon said they currently only have vaccines for residents of long-term care homes and residents and staff of elder care homes in First Nation communities.

“One hundred per cent of doses received have been given to long-term care homes,” Young Hoon said. “This is over 300 shots and currently 68 per cent of long-term care home residents have received [the first dose] of their COVID-19 vaccine.”

Young Hoon said there is a process in place if people develop symptoms after getting the vaccine. She adds that if they have a reaction that could be related to the vaccine itself, they are to discuss it with their healthcare provider. That information then gets filtered to the health unit, sent to the province, and then nationally it is looked at to make sure they are monitoring the safety of the vaccine.

Young Hoon said this process is done for all vaccines and not just in the instance of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“At this point we have been notified of a number of situations and generally they are things you would expect; the pain and tenderness around the sides of the vaccine and some symptoms such as just feeling a little unwell so it’s generally mild symptoms that get resolved quickly,” Young Hoon said.

No new cases were reported in the region on Tuesday. There is a total of 15 active cases in the region, divided by health hub.

Every Tuesday the NWHU will be releasing weekly data reports by health hubs which can be found on their website.

As of Feb. 1, the following health hubs have active cases. There are four in the Dryden hub, one in the Fort Frances hub, five in the Kenora hub, one in the Red Lake hub and four in the Sioux Lookout hub.

Between Jan. 25 and Jan. 31, there were 12 new confirmed cases with no hospitalizations for COVID-19.

By the end of the day on Jan. 31, contact tracing information was available for all 12 of the new cases. The NWHU identified 62 people who had high risk close contact with cases. That is an average of 5.2 high risk close contacts per case. The per cent positivity rate was 0.54 per cent compared to 0.6 per cent in the previous seven days.

Natali Trivuncic, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times