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HPPH provides update on COVID-19 vaccination plan

(Metro Creative image)

HURON-PERTH – Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH), with partners, continues COVID-19 vaccination work in Huron-Perth according to provincial direction.

“This week Huron Perth reached some exciting milestones,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron Perth’s medical officer of health.

Klassen noted that HPPH received their first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, and have completed second-dose vaccinations for residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes.

“Also, as vaccine supply slowly begins to increase, we began work with our regional partners on expanding vaccination to other prioritized groups identified by the province,” she said.

“Although we are still in the initial stages of Phase One, planning and preparation is underway for all phases, and we are prepared to expand vaccination efforts as supply allows.”

Current Vaccination Status in Huron-Perth

Ontario continues to be in Phase 1 of the province’s three-phase vaccination plan. With the renewed delivery of vaccine into Canada and additional guidance from the province, the Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Advisory Committee (including HPPH, Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), and Southwestern Public Health (SWPH)), are expanding vaccination to other prioritized groups identified in the first Phase of Ontario’s Vaccination Plan, who have yet to receive a first dose.

Immediate priority for first-dose vaccination:

  • Staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes, and any residents of these settings that have not 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, as feasible.
  • Highest Priority health care workers, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization.
  • Indigenous adults in northern remote and higher risk communities (including on-reserve and urban communities).

Because short-term vaccine supply will continue to be less than the number of eligible recipients identified, the Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Advisory Committee is further sequencing these groups.

HPPH is working with long-term care and retirement homes to schedule appointments for staff and essential caregivers who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. These will be done through pilot clinics early next week, with the support of Community Emergency Management Coordinators and municipalities in Huron and Perth. Only those who are eligible will be contacted for these clinics.

Mobile teams will continue for retirement home residents as eligible, and the health unit is looking ahead to continued mobile clinics for healthcare workers.

The Huron Perth Mass Vaccination Advisory Committee (HPMVAC) continues to work together to coordinate vaccination activities in Huron-Perth. The HPMVAC issues weekly memos regarding Huron-Perth vaccination status and activities. These memos can be found at www.hpph.ca/vaccines.

How will you know when you’re eligible for the vaccine?

  • During Phase 1, eligible, confirmed candidates for vaccinations are being directly contacted.
  • When Phase 2 and Phase 3 vaccinations roll out, HPPH and partners will be sharing information widely on who is eligible to receive the vaccine and how to get it. This will include direct contact of eligible participants through organizations and facilities, as well as mass media, print, and social media.
  • Please do not call Huron Perth Public Health, your primary care provider, or the pharmacy to be put on a wait list for the vaccine. If you are eligible during Phase One, you will be contacted. As mentioned above, communications will go out widely to notify eligible candidates for Phases 2 and 3 when those phases are set to begin.
  • Please remember that there will be enough vaccine for everyone. Anyone who wants to be vaccinated will receive their opportunity to be vaccinated. We appreciate the enthusiasm and patience of those eager to receive COVID vaccine.

What you can do right now

As vaccinations roll out, it is important to continue following all public health measures: wash your hands often, avoid close contact with people who are not part of your household, maintain two metres of physical distance from others, wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and stay home when you are sick.