The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) is rolling out the first round of coronavirus vaccines at three long-term care facilities on Wednesday.
“This is the day we’ve been waiting for,” stated Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting HKPRDHU medical officer of health on Monday.
“We have been working with our local hospital partners and our long-term care and retirement homes to work out the logistics of getting this vaccine into as many arms as quickly as possible.”
“While a vaccine is a much needed and welcomed step in ending the pandemic, it will still take time to ensure everyone is protected. We must therefore remain vigilant and continue to work together through 2021,” stated Jenelle Whalen, administrator at Pinecrest Nursing Home, in an email to Global News Peterborough.
“At Pinecrest, all infection prevention and control measures remain firmly in place for the continued health and safety of everyone in our home and community, and the appropriate personal protective equipment continues to be used by staff at all times throughout the home.”
HKPRDHU received 700 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday.
It was delivered to Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay for storage.
The health unit estimates 100 to 150 vaccinations will take place each day in long-term care homes throughout Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.
In addition to Pinecrest, vaccination clinics began Wednesday at Hope Street Terrace in Port Hope and Maplewood Long-Term Care Home in Brighton, the health unit stated in an email to Global News Peterborough.
Additional vaccination clinics will take place at other long-term care homes in the area over the course of the next few weeks.
The province announced on Monday that its goal is to have all residents of long-term care and retirement homes vaccinated by Feb. 5.
“Unfortunately, we know that what we have received will not ensure that all of our long-term care residents are vaccinated with this week’s supply,” Gemmill stated.
“We have had to determine priorities about which LTCH gets the vaccine first, and we are hopeful that we will soon receive more vaccine so we can complete the immunization of residents and staff of both our long-term care homes and retirement homes.”
As for when the vaccine will be rolled out to the general public, Gemmill said on his media teleconference last week that he’s optimistic for “late spring, early summer.”
“Many of our residents are asking for the vaccine or wanting to be put on a waiting list,” Gemmill stated.
“Unfortunately, we are still some months away from being able to either offer mass immunization clinics in our communities or to support primary care providers as they immunize their patients.”.