Prince Edward Island says it expects to finish immunizing most of its first priority groups by the end of March in the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Meanwhile, planning for phase 2 of the rollout continues.
According to the provincial website, P.E.I. has administered 10,691 doses of the vaccine as of Wednesday.
It says 5,712 Islanders have received at least one dose, and 4,979 have received two doses.
Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are the only two vaccines that have been approved in Canada and both require two doses.
P.E.I.’s target is to immunize 80 per cent of its population, just over 103,800 people.
In Phase 1, which continues through the end of March, the priority groups include:
- residents and staff of long-term and community care
- health care workers with direct patient contact at high risk of COVID-19 exposure
- seniors 80 years of age and older
- adults living in Indigenous communities
- residents and staff of other shared living facilities (group homes, residential care, shelters, corrections)
- truck drivers and rotational workers
P.E.I. Health Department spokesperson Samantha Hughes told Global News that vaccinations are being given in congregate living centres this week, and continue at long-term care homes.
“Home Care Nurses are immunizing people in the community who are waiting for placement in long-term care,” Hughes said in an email.
Since the first week of February, Islanders over the age of 80 have been able to call or fill out an online form to book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Clinics to administer the vaccine in these appointments will begin Feb. 22 and be held throughout March.
Hughes said these clinics in March will be held in O’Leary, Summerside, Charlottetown and Montague.
In April, when P.E.I. expects increased supply, there will be additional mass immunization clinic sites to handle a larger volume of people.
Phase 2, expected to run from April to June, will include the following groups:
- anyone in priority groups remaining from Phase 1
- health care workers not included in Phase 1
- seniors 70 years of age and older
- essential workers
P.E.I. is expecting to roll out Phase 3 in the summer, when it will vaccinate anyone in priority groups remaining from Phase 2 and the general public.
However, Hughes said that planning continues for rollout beyond March.
In addition, a newer version of the online appointment booking portal is planned for the near future “to allow for direct appointment booking without the need for a call back.”
“We are preparing to be able to get vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as it arrives in the province,” Hughes said.
She said P.E.I. has enough supplies and human resources for mass vaccine rollout.
“Public health nursing is vaccinating individuals. Trained pharmacists have also recently been legislated to give vaccines.
“As the vaccine supply increases in the spring, additional immunizers such as community pharmacists will be needed to help with the program rollout.”
As of Tuesday, there were two active cases of COVID-19 in P.E.I.
The province has confirmed 114 cases in total, of which 112 have recovered.