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Community seniors 80-plus next on queue for Huron-Perth vaccine rollout

(Metro Creative image)

COVID-19 vaccinations for demographic expected to commence by mid-March

HURON-PERTH – As the regional COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues, Huron-Perth Public Health (HPPH) announced this week that vaccinations for its next target demographic are to get underway in mid-March.

Community seniors 80 years and older not living in long-term care or retirement home settings will have their opportunity to receive the vaccine later this month. The news comes as HPPH continues its efforts to vaccinate high-risk sectors of the population, including health care workers and caregivers. Private clinics were conducted this week in Stratford, Clinton, Goderich and Listowel to that end, with mobile clinics on track to complete the administration of vaccines to all long-term care and retirement home residents and staff.

“These went very smoothly, many thanks to the many partners that worked with the health unit,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, medical officer of health for Huron Perth. “We’re hearing anxiety from people who think they’ve missed the opportunity to be vaccinated. Please know that once you’re eligible, you remain eligible.”

Klassen said that eligibility queues will be communicated to those on deck through phone, the HPPH website (hpph.ca), family doctors and media outlets. Timelines for vaccinations will depend on availability.

Klassen reported on Feb. 25 that only seven new cases were added since HPPH’s last media briefing on Monday, bringing the cumulative total in the region to 1,320 since the onset of the pandemic; five of the seven new positive cases were localized to Perth South. The lone hospital outbreak in the region was declared over at St. Marys Memorial Hospital, while declared outbreaks remain in effect at Seaforth Manor and the Stratford Jail.

“The local numbers are going in the right direction,” said Klassen. “We’re really pleased about the outbreaks (ending) and we’re pleased that we’re getting more vaccines to our most vulnerable seniors and those in congregate settings. The province’s numbers seem to be stalling a little bit; we know that the cases with variants of concern are increasing in the total number of positives. Those have the potential to transmit much more easily.

“We’re moving in the right direction in Huron-Perth… having said that I do want to urge everyone to remember to follow Public Health measures really carefully.”