Public Health Unveils Next Phase of Vaccine Rollout Plan

Many areas of Ontario, including Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, re-opened from the state of emergency on Tuesday. On that same day, Public Health unveiled its plan for a regional vaccine clinics, approved by Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, that will go into effect once additional vaccine resources become available. For most people in the region, this is the plan that will get them their jabs.

“The mass vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the largest public health projects our region has ever seen,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer in a statement. “It will take a true ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach to make this plan a reality. I am grateful to our public, private and healthcare partners for their major role in the vaccine plan. Without their support and commitment, vaccinations of this scale and scope would not be possible.”

The program will be committed to the vaccination 75 per cent of people in the region 16 years of age and older by early August 2021, so long as the requisite supply of vaccine is available. As long as the supply is secured, the program will be able to distribute as many as 10,000 vaccines every day across all the various clinics, which will be organized in one of three streams.

First, there will be the public health-led hub clinics will be staged at the Public Health offices in Guelph and Orangeville, plus a clinic set-up at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex. Public Health will also have mobile clinics set up with the assistance of Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services, County of Dufferin Paramedic Services, and local family health teams.

Along with the organization done by Public Health, they’re also sponsoring other clinics from the Guelph Family Health Team, Linamar, and the University of Guelph. In a separate release, the U of G announced that the clinic will be held the University Centre, but no further details about when the clinic will be begin or how the vaccine will be distributed were offered.

“A healthy Guelph community means a healthier U of G community,” said U of G’s vice-president of finance and operations Sharmilla Rasheed in a statement. “This vaccination clinic will be an important component of our ongoing plans and efforts for a gradual and safe return to learning and working on campus.”

At the Board of Health meeting earlier this month, staff outlined their intention to complete vaccinations to residents in all long-term care homes in the region by February 24. Public Health will then look to begin vaccinations for the general public in April working backwards from people 80 years of age and over down to people who are 65 years old. The vaccination of adults young than 65 should then begin sometime in June.

“The doctors and staff of the Guelph Family Health Team are pleased to collaborate with our community as we launch this important work,” said Ross Kirkconnell, executive director of the Guelph Family Health Team. “Our COVID-19 journey has been long and difficult. The opportunity to help everyone to get vaccinated is a critical step in helping all of us to move forward.”

According to Public Health, they have given out 6,926 first doses of the vaccine and 3,835 second doses for a total of 10,761 shots given out so far.

In the meantime, the number of active COVID-19 cases is down to 150 after just 14 new cases were counted on Wednesday. The number of fatalities though continues to go up, and is now just four short of 100. The 7-day moving average of confirmed cases is now 39.5 per 100,000, which is just half-a-point short of the red line of 40 per 100,000. The test positivity rate has not changed since February 6 when it was 1.8 per cent.

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