Winchester arena among six planned mass immunization sites; vaccines available ‘soon’ to adults 80 and over

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing, Medical Officer Dr Paul Roumeliotis provided updates on the latest COVID-19 developments in the region, reporting that there have been 11 new cases since yesterday (March 3rd). Seven were in Prescott-Russell, one was in SD&G, and three were in Cornwall. Additionally, there are four COVID-19 positive patients in hospital.

There are five outbreaks in congregate living settings across the region. They are in Woodland Villa, The Palace Long Term Care, Iakhihsohtha Lodge, Glen Stor Dun Lodge, and Rideau Place, which was reported on March 2nd due to one resident testing positive for COVID-19.

Tragically, Woodland Villa lost another resident to the virus as a result of the outbreak there, bringing Eastern Ontario’s total death toll to 68.

According to the EOHU, approximately 9,239 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date in Eastern Ontario with more on the way as the next phase of the roll-out begins. Roumeliotis also confirmed that the Health Unit has identified six mass immunization sites at the arenas in Alexandria, Winchester, Casselman, Rockland, Hawkesbury, and the Civic Complex in Cornwall. For those who cannot get to the sites, mobile clinics are being arranged to vaccinate people at home.

While Eastern Ontario has mainly relied on the Pfizer vaccine up until now, Roumeliotis anticipates a potential increase in the Moderna supply, which will be crucial for mass immunization clinics without medical freezers and mobile clinics.

Adults 80 and over to get vaccine ‘soon’

Vaccinations for those 80 years old and older is set to happen “soon,” and the EOHU says it’s working with health care providers, community, and municipal partners to “inform individuals and their family members who can support them in accessing the vaccine”

Vaccination appointments are currently rolling out exclusively to staff and essential caregivers of long-term care and retirement homes, and health care workers of the highest and very high priority level, as prioritized by the provincial government.

However, the EOHU says this will soon be extended to:
• Individuals 80 years of age and older
• Adults recipient of chronic home care
• Indigenous adults living off-reserve

Update: Click the image below for further information from the EOHU on vaccination invitations being sent out now by robocall (as of March 5) to chronic home care recipients age 80 and over.

The organization emphasizes that vaccinations are by appointment only — and may be made by an individual or their caregiver; walk-in service is not available. Appointments are made via the EOHU’s online booking tool.

“If you have a family member or provide care to someone who falls within one of the groups listed above, please encourage them to get vaccinated,” says the EOHU in a press release issued today.

“We expect that by mid-March, eligible individuals will be able to make an appointment using our online tool. We will be updating our website as we have more information to share about scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for eligible individuals.”

“If you, or the individual you are booking for, do not fall within one of the eligible groups, please do not try to schedule an appointment. We must keep the online tool and phone lines available for those who are
eligible to book an appointment. We are requesting everyone’s collaboration and continued patience as we undertake this enormous vaccination effort.”

Phase One of the EOHU vaccine roll-out plan is well underway. All long-term care residents have received their two doses of the vaccine and residents of retirement homes have all received their first dose. Staff and
essential caregivers of long-term care and retirement homes, and health care workers of the highest and very high priority level are currently being administered their first dose. Vaccine supply continues to impact
both the local and provincial vaccine roll out. As a result, says the EOHU, “we continue to adjust our local plans to align with Ministry-identified priority populations.”

“We are pleased that access to COVID-19 vaccines is increasing and we are committed to vaccinating our community as quickly as possible.”


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