Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico w as joined by a panel of local experts from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, including Andrea McLellan, Director COVID-19 Immunization Strategy, and Dr. Carol Zimbalatti, Public Health Physician, to provide an update on the Health Unit district’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and pandemic response on July 15, 2021. (Screengrab)
With the province moving into Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has some reminders.
Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, says they’re asking the public to continue to follow public health measures and ‘evaluate the risks’ before attending gatherings with people you do not live with.
He says first people should look at their own health and if they’re fully vaccinated, along with those in their household.
“Then you have to look at where you’re going, who is going to be there, is it going to be a large crowd, do you really want to be, if you’re vulnerable, in a large crowd with people that you don’t know if they’re immunized or not,” Dr. Chirico says. “That’s a different scenario than if you are going to family and friends that you know are immunized and taking precautions and fully protected. Those are things we’re talking about with a risk assessment.”
In terms of vaccination clinics, more walk-in opportunities are expected.
Andrea McLellan, Director of COVID-19 Immunization Strategy, says walk-ins are welcome from 3 pm to 7 pm Thursday at Memorial Gardens.
450 doses of Pfizer vaccine are available.
“Our first vaccine walk-in attempt was successful. We immunized just over 150 people who presented to the clinic for immunization,” she says. “We do have 450 doses available at today’s clinic in North Bay.”
She says they will be looking at their overall clinic strategy and whether including a timeframe for walk-ins makes sense.
“Are we planning to continue them? We are looking at that as an option. Not everyone is in a position to make an appointment and provided we have vaccine available we will be doing that,” McLellan says.
“I think we’re starting to see a plateau with first doses at the 75 percent mark and we expected that to happen,” she says.
Dr. Chirico, meanwhile, is happy with vaccination levels.
“When you consider that it is a new vaccine, to get rates as high as we have them and to be as comparable to the rest of Canada and Ontario I am extremely pleased,” he says.
Discussions are also being held to consider when to move from mass vaccination clinics in locations like Memorial Gardens to smaller venues.