EOHU clarifies vaccine rollout queue, but info still scant on when general public can get the jab

EASTERN ONTARIO — Now that long-term care and high-risk retirement home residents have all received at least their first doses, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is offering assurances that it will “work hard” to increase vaccine access to more targeted groups as supply stabilizes “in the coming weeks.”

“As the vaccine becomes available to population groups, we will ensure the community is informed,” says the EOHU in a press release issued yesterday, also noting that it plans to work with community and municipal partners to get the word out about the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan.

While information remains scant on when the general public might have access to the jab, the EOHU lists the following groups as next up in the queue:

• LTC residents (second doses), staff, and essential caregivers, along with high-risk retirement homes, and any residents of these settings who may not have yet received a first dose of vaccine;

• Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors;

• Highest priority health care workers followed by very high priority health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care worker prioritization;

• Indigenous adults in higher risk communities (including on-reserve and urban communities)

• Residents, staff, and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors (e.g., assisted living)

• Adults 80 years of age and older

• Healthcare workers in the high-priority level, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care workers prioritization

• All Indigenous adults

• Adult recipients of chronic home care

“To help the public know what to expect, the EOHU is committed to providing information as soon as we have it. We will continue to update our website to list which population groups are eligible to receive the vaccine. Instructions on how to book appointments and what to expect will be made known on the website, social media, local radio and newspaper, as well as by community and municipal partners.”

The EOHU adds that four types of clinics will be activated — operated as combined effort involving the EOHU, health care providers, community, and municipal partners. “Without this support, these clinics would not be possible.”

• Mobile clinics allowing vaccines to be administered where specific populations work, congregate or live.
• Mass clinics allowing vaccines to be administered by appointment at a public venue such as arenas, schools and community halls.
• Drive-through clinics allowing vaccines to be administered to clients at their vehicle window.
• Fixed site clinics allow vaccines to be administered at specific providers such as the EOHU, pharmacies, physicians, community health centres or hospitals.

The organization also pledges keep the public informed with the latest vaccine rollout information via its website at www.EOHU.ca/vaccines.

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