COVID-19: City of Peterborough to assemble team to assist health unit in vaccine rollout

The City of Peterborough will create a team to assist health officials in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Getty Images

A staff report recommends the City of Peterborough create a team to assist the region’s health unit with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Peterborough Public Health this month has been distributing vaccines to long-term care homes in its jurisdiction. Mass distribution of the vaccine is expected later this year across Canada with a goal of Ontario vaccinating everyone (who chooses to be vaccinated) by the end of August 2021.

Read more: Peterborough Public Health updates city council on COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan

On Monday, medical officer of health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra stressed the need for partnerships to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are distributed.

As part of a financial report going to city council on Monday, staff note the province has asked municipalities to work with their respective health unit to facilitate planning and support the vaccine program implementation.

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The report recommends the city assist Peterborough Public Health in areas such as human resources, facilities, logistics, transportation (ensuring barriers to clinics are minimized) and security.

It’s recommended that a pool of 12 to 15 staffing equivalent of city employees be trained to “support administrative functions for mobile vaccination teams and mass immunization clinics, when required,” the report from Sandra Clancy, the city’s CAO, and Richard Freymond, CAO commissioner of corporate and legislative services.

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Administrative functions could include greeting, appointment check-in, observation/check-out and stocking supplies.

“The provision of non-regulated staff to support administrative functions at clinics will maximize the number of persons vaccinated in a day by allowing regulated staff (doctors, nurses, paramedics)
to focus their efforts on administering vaccine. Initially teams and clinics will be operational as vaccine is available,” the report states.

Clancy and Freymond’s report says once the vaccine supply is stable, it is expected that multiple clinics may be operating at one time.

Read more: Canada inks deal to produce Novavax COVID-19 vaccine

“Depending on the size and type of immunization clinic, 3-5 administrative support staff will be required per site,” the report reads. “It is anticipated that immunizations will be ongoing throughout 2021, and clinics could operate 7 days per week, dependant upon supply.

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“Human resources planning needs to account for 7 day / week shift scheduling and vacation time over the next several months. Timing and duration of the city’s participation in the vaccination implementation will vary throughout the response. It is expected that staff secondment to vaccination clinics will impact regular job functions and annual work plans.”

Possible municipal locations for vaccination sites could include large multipurpose rooms, the downtown parking garage and parking lots – weather permitting. The municipality may also be asked to provide barricades, pylons, directional signage, waste receptacles and more.

The report says the health unit has engaged the Interagency COVID-19 Planning Team, which historically has met on a regular basis to develop and test pandemic and other human health-related emergency plans. It includes members of the health unit, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, primary health care, pharmacies, area First Nations, Trent University, Peterborough County and the city’s community emergency management co-ordinators.

“The COVID-19 Interagency Team has been further sub-divided to include several working groups to focus on specific aspects of the vaccine implementation plan,” the report notes.

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