I spoke to the Health Unit last week and requested that Westport be selected for a vaccination site. I was informed that a mobile site will be set up at the Community Centre (arena) – likely in July.
The availability of vaccines remains a challenge for the federal government. We are all watching the reports and waiting for some positive signs that large amounts of vaccine are arriving in Canada.
The Ministry of Health has set a 3 phase strategy and within each phase has identified priority populations. The Health Unit has taken these phases and groups and developed a six stage roll out plan for our area.
Stage 1: Long-Term Care Homes/High risk Retirement Homes Staff, Residents and Designated Essential Care Givers
Stage 2: Highest priority and very high priority Health Care Workers (HCW) and Adults (80+)
Stage 3: High priority Health Care Workers, residents and staff of congregate living facilities (such as group homes, shelters, low risk retirement homes), all Indigenous adults, adult recipients of homecare
Stage 4: Moderate priority Health Care Workers, Essential Workers (first responders, teachers, food industry, etc)
Stage 5: High Risk population (to be defined by Ministry of Health) and beginning of age cohorting (ages 60+ to start)
Stage 6: All others in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark that are 16 + and would like the vaccine
Here is the Health Units’ tentative schedule. If shipments from the manufacturer are delayed, timelines will be pushed back.
- Stage 1:
- January – February: First dose*
- February – March: Second dose*
- Stage 2:
- February – March: First dose*
- March – April: Second dose*
- Stage 3:
- March – May: First dose*
- April – June: Second dose*
- Stage 4:
- March – June: First dose*
- April – July: Second dose*
- Stage 5:
- March – August: First dose*
- April – September: Second dose*
- Stage 6:
- July – onward: First dose*
- August – onward: Second dose*
Individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in each stage will be notified by public health. For the first 4 stages (Long-Term Care Homes, High Risk Retirement Homes, Health Care workers, residents and staff of congregate living facilities, and essential workers) this notification will happen through the facility or workplace. For those 80+ in stage 2, and those in stage 5 and 6 (high risk population, and age cohorts), the Health Unit will be communicating widely on social media sites, its website, through local radio and newspaper, as well as through their healthcare and community partners. The Health Unit will continue to update the public about its progress, including which stage they are in and which priority population is receiving vaccine and which priority population is next to receive vaccine.
All vaccinations will require an appointment and I was assured that there will be lots of “help desks” available to provide support in making these appointments.
Here is the Health Unit’s web site. Please watch it for updates.