WINCHESTER — Registered Practical Nurse Miranda Carruthers (seen in photo above) was among the first Winchester District Memorial Hospital staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — 84 of whom (including physicians) got the jab Feb. 19.
Carruthers has been working at the Assessment Centre in Winchester, operated by WDMH, testing patients for the virus since November. “I was super excited to get my vaccine and I feel extremely thankful. By protecting WDMH staff, we can also protect patients and families and our local communities. It’s going to make a huge difference, and everyone will be able to see their loved ones again,” she says.
Several other WDMH staffers received their first vaccine on Jan. 15th at Dundas Manor. (And WDMH reports Manor staff and essential caregivers are getting their second shots today, Feb. 22).
“WDMH staff have been on the front line of this pandemic and this is a great first step. We look forward to seeing the entire WDMH team — and our local communities — get their first dose over the coming weeks,” noted WDMH CEO Cholly Boland, commenting on the large group inoculated on Feb. 19. “Thank you to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit for your leadership in the vaccine roll-out.”
WDMH has developed a detailed vaccination plan that prioritizes staff based on their level of risk and work location. For example, staff members working in the Emergency Department will be vaccinated before staff members who do not have direct contact with patients. Decision-making is also guided by the province’s ethical framework for vaccine distribution.
The institution also points out that all safety protocols remain in place at WDMH, including screening, wearing masks, the use of personal protective equipment, and visitor restrictions.