COVID-19 Update: Statement from Dr. Klassen about vaccine program in Huron Perth

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has announced that it is adjusting its vaccine appointment availability based on the latest information from the province about vaccine supply. Everyone who has booked an appointment in the next few weeks will be vaccinated. However, there are currently no clinics open to book future appointments.

HPPH (together with our partners) is prepared to administer all the vaccine we receive; some weeks to date we have been able to vaccinate over 6,000 people. We have had very good uptake from eligible populations and HPPH clinics have been fully booked. The rate limiting step in Huron Perth (and all across Ontario) has been vaccine supply. This is not unexpected, as the projections from the Federal Government and the Provincial Government have always been that it would take many months to reach their total population with a first dose. To date, the vaccine program in Huron Perth is progressing on par with the province (See Public Health Ontario’s Surveillance report: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/epi/covid-19-vaccine-uptake-ontario-epi-summary.pdf?la=en)

The provincial vaccine strategy does include a commitment to providing a proportional vaccine allotment distributed to local public health units, primary care and pharmacies. There are select pharmacies in Huron Perth that are participating in the provincial program, with more joining in the near future (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations). I also note that some Huron Perth residents have received vaccine in other locations and vice versa; health units in the province are working together to increase vaccine uptake.

It is also important to note that, until the pandemic is widely controlled, we are all at risk of contracting COVID-19. If there is a high rate of community transmission elsewhere in the province, that will eventually spread toward us. An important strategy in pandemic control is to break chains of transmission, and that is why the Hot Spot vaccination approach will benefit us in Huron Perth. The evidence from the Science Table modelling demonstrates that vaccinating in areas of high transmission will help break chains of transmission.

Additionally, it is necessary to acknowledge that some regions have more risk factors for COVID spread, such as more high-density neighbourhoods, more international travellers passing through, more newcomers who may not speak English and may have more barriers to complying with public health measures, more patients who are transferred into the GTA for tertiary care, and large businesses and services that serve the rest of the province (such as the Food Depot and the Amazon warehouse).  There are many factors contributing to higher rates of transmission in the designated Hot Spots. 

 

HPPH report on vaccine program progress to date:

  • We completed the Long-Term Care Home sector and the Phase 1 populations ahead of target.
  • We are currently vaccinating in Phase 2: Adults 65 +, congregate settings (through mobile and mass vaccination clinics) and Individuals with Highest Risk Health Conditions.
  • We continue to use all the vaccine we receive on a weekly basis.
  • Over 29,000 doses have been administered as of Apr 11.

 

PHO SURVEILLANCE REPORT. COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Ontario: December 14, 2020 to Apr 3, 2021

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/epi/covid-19-vaccine-uptake-ontario-epi-summary.pdf?la=en

% coverage

ON

HPPH

At least one dose

14.6

16.3

2 doses

2.2

2.9

Total # doses

1,849,755

23,784

 

We will continue to promote COVID-19 vaccines in Huron Perth, to administer all the vaccine we receive, and to advocate for an equitable allocation of vaccine for the Huron Perth community.

Dr. Miriam Klassen

Medical Officer of Health/CEO, Huron Perth Public Health

 

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