As of Thursday, 12,933 individuals have received their first dost across the District.
The information comes from Andrea McLellan, Director of COVID-19 Immunization for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.
“We continue to move forward with completing Phase 1 priorities. Retirement home residents will receive their second dose of the vaccine next week. Community-based health care workers are beginning to receive their first dose of the vaccine. As it arrives, the vaccines allocated to Indigenous populations are being distributed for use. Plans for immunizing those receiving chronic home care services are currently under development. This week, we began immunizing our 80+ population. Clinics are being held across the district.”
The Health Unit is reporting little to no hiccups as the mass vaccination clinics are underway.
For folks who were told the clinics were full this week, McLellan says vaccine shipments are arriving weekly and the clinics will be on-going.
“We will continue to offer clinics on an on-going basis. We will schedule clinics based on [vaccine allocations] to make sure we have sufficient vaccines for the clinics we are holding,” she said.
The district is still currently in the first phase of the province’s vaccination rollout and plans to be in Phase 2 by mid-April, barring vaccine shipments. Phase 2 priority vaccinations, which include seniors aged 60-79 years of age, will begin when the majority of phase 1 vaccinations are near completion.
“We’re asking the 75-79 age group to wait just a little longer and let the 80 and over age group get their vaccination first,” said McLellan.
Though following the province’s announcement last week, nobody aged 75-79 will be turned away if they do book an appointment.
“We’re playing catch-up,” said Dr. Jim Chirico. “There was a month and a half delay from when we first got the vaccine (January 26) to our next shipment (February 22) simply because there were shortages. We all recognize that. That was reality. It’s nobody’s fault. It happens. It went to areas that had the most needs. But we’re still playing catch-up. By putting 75-79-year-olds in the queue, it means we would require approximately 5364 more doses. It has implications as to what we’re able to do.”
The Health Unit says it has been advocating to the province for an increase in COVID-19 vaccines.