Young grocery clerks, gas station workers now eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine

·3 min read
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, and Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, update Islanders on the COVID-19 situation on Tuesday. (CBC - image credit)
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, and Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, update Islanders on the COVID-19 situation on Tuesday. (CBC - image credit)

Islanders between the ages of 18 and 29 who work at convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores can now start to book appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, said in her regular weekly COVID-19 update Tuesday.

The news follows an earlier rollout of appointments for young people working in the food service industry.

Sixty per cent of P.E.I.'s overall cases have been diagnosed among people between the ages of 20 and 30, Morrison noted.

She said the Island's vaccine rollout to all eligible adults remains on target, with even more vaccine doses than expected due to arrive shortly. As of Saturday, almost 16,000 doses of vaccines have been administered on P.E.I., including 5,600 second doses.

70-74 age group begin next week

People between the ages of 70 and 74 can start booking appointments next week depending on birth month. Those born January to April can start booking March 22, those born May to August can start booking March 24 and those born September to December can start booking March 26.

Mass vaccination clinics are scheduled to begin March 29 in four locations across the Island, and people will need appointments to receive their shots there. The clinics will be set up in Charlottetown at the Eastlink Centre, Summerside at the Holland College building, Montague at the Rosedale Care Centre, and O'Leary at the community hospital. Another mass vaccination clinic will be set up at the Souris hospital in April.

After people receive their vaccinations, they will get an official printed copy with the record of vaccine, date and name.

In the next eight weeks, shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will go from 1,170 to 4,680 per week, Morrison said. The Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines will continue to be available. Morrison said people may be able to choose which vaccine they receive.

1 new case, 4 active

During her briefing, Morrison announced one new case of COVID-19, a man in his 20s who had travelled outside Atlantic Canada. He is currently in self-isolation.

This is P.E.I.'s first case in a week.

Since March of 2020, P.E.I. has had 144 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with no deaths or hospitalizations. There are now four active cases on the Island.

Morrison said she remains "fiercely proud" of Islanders and the way they have responded to the pandemic by following public health directions even when that has been difficult.

"Your actions have saved lives," she said.

Hope for Atlantic bubble

Morrison also said she hopes the Atlantic bubble can resume as early as next month, if regional spread remains under control.

She said it will depend on factors including the average number of cases per week, the variants of concern, the geographical spread and the percentage of vulnerable populations who are immunized.

"It's really hard to look out too far. We sort of almost want to do it two to four weeks at a time. We all have learned in Atlantic Canada how quickly it can change."

Nova Scotia reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with the discovery of four more variant cases. It has 17 active cases.

New Brunswick reported five new cases, bringing its total active cases to 41.

Newfoundland and Labrador announced one new case. It has 45 active cases.

Reminder about symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.

  • Possible loss of taste and/or smell.

  • Sore throat.

  • New or worsening fatigue.

  • Headache.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Runny nose.

More from CBC P.E.I.