Saturday, March 6, 2021

CK Public Health launches COVID-19 information page, Province reaches ‘key’ vaccine milestone

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit has published a detailed COVID-19 vaccine page on their website, while they continue to wait for vaccine news from the upper levels of government .

Meanwhile, the Province of Ontario announced on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 they have achieved a key milestone with vaccinations in long-term care in seven regions.

COVID-19 vaccination in Chatham-Kent

As COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out across the province, CK Public Health and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance are working together collaboratively with the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team and community partners to coordinate the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines to priority populations and the general community of Chatham-Kent, CK Public Health posted on their website.

“Our COVID-19 experience has been met with many twists and turns,” CK Public health officials said on their COVID-19 vaccine page.

“As new processes, policies, and procedures are created and added to our collection of recommended public health measures, we work hard to keep the health and safety of our community as the top priority. When more information about COVID-19 vaccines is released, including further details about immunization and immunization clinics, we will update the information contained on this page.”

CK Public Health officials added: “The COVID-19 story is one that is collectively written, including these vaccine chapters. If you have any questions, and/or are looking for particular information that is not yet contained here on this page, please connect with us at covid19@chatham-kent.ca or call us at 519-355-1071 ext 1900.”

The COVID-19 vaccine page can be found, here.

Residents and workers in seven regions immunized ahead of schedule

Ontario has reached a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19, completing the first round of vaccinations ahead of schedule in all long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex, the four regions with the highest COVID-19 transmission rates, Provincial officials say.

The first round of vaccinations has also been administered at all long-term care homes in the Ottawa Public Health Region, Durham Region and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

“This is the first of many victories to come against this deadly and ruthless enemy we face,” stated Premier Doug Ford in a media release.

“We are making steady progress, but we will not rest until the residents and staff of every long-term care home and all Ontarians have had the opportunity to get a vaccine. Only then will we be able to get our lives back and return to normal.”

To date, more than 40 percent of all long-term care homes across the province have had an opportunity to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 83,000 long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers have been vaccinated, Provincial officials say.

“Meeting this milestone is an important step towards keeping our most vulnerable and those who care for them safe,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, in a media release.

“While we continue to vaccinate our loved ones, we must remember that our long-term care homes are still at risk from community spread. It’s important that all of us continue to stay home as much as possible and follow the public health measures so we can stay safe and save lives.”

Progress continues to be made with the goal of administering vaccines in all long-term care homes across the province by February 15, 2021, Provincial officials added.

“To have the first round of vaccinations completed at long-term care homes in these hard-hit regions is a significant achievement, and I’d like to recognize all those who contributed to this effort,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a media release.

“Together with our partners we continue to expand our capacity and we are ready to administer more doses as soon as we receive them.”

As part of Phase One of its vaccine implementation plan, Ontario will continue to focus on vaccinating vulnerable populations, and those who care for them, as more supply becomes available, Provincial officials say.

On January 15, the province was alerted by the federal government that due to work to expand its European manufacturing facility, production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine will be impacted and Canada’s allocations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the remainder of January and early February will be reduced.

To respond to this change in supply of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided updated direction on the administration of second doses:

– Long-term care and high-risk retirement home residents and their essential caregivers, who have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, will receive their second dose in 21 to 27 days.

– Staff who were vaccinated within the homes at the same time as the residents will also follow the same schedule.

– All other recipients of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine must receive their second dose after 21 days and before 42 days.

– For individuals who received the Moderna vaccine, the dose schedule of 28 days will remain.

“The remarkable first stages of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout demonstrate how much we can accomplish when Ontarians work together to protect our most vulnerable citizens and frontline essential workers,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, in a media release.

“We will build on these promising first steps as we continue our distribution of both first and second doses of vaccines. Though there is much to be hopeful for, we urge everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines and stay home, stay safe and save lives.”

General Rick Hillier stated they have been laser-focused on meeting the Premier’s challenge to complete first dose vaccinations to the most vulnerable in the four key areas by January 21.

“I want to commend the tremendous effort of everyone involved in achieving this milestone ahead of schedule because this is their success,” he said in a media release.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario has invested $1.38 billion to ensure that long-term care homes have the resources they need to battle this virus, Provincial officials say.

The government has also taken action to address urgent staffing shortages, including issuing management orders, enabling the deployment of hospital staff to long-term care homes and the use of infection prevention and control teams.

As of January 19 at 12 p.m., over 226,000 doses have been administered across the province, Provincial officials say.

As the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continues, the Ontario government is investing an additional $398-million during the second wave of the pandemic to reduce the risk of the virus entering long-term care homes from the community.

During the second wave, Ontario has enhanced testing requirements for long-term care home staff and essential caregivers, recognizing how important it is to identify a case of the virus before it can spread from the community into a long-term care home.

To address long-standing staffing challenges, the government has launched one of the largest recruitment and training drives in the province’s history to deliver on its commitment to provide an average of four hours of daily direct care for residents, Provincial officials added.

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