New Lambton COVID-19 Immunization Task Force Unveiled
Wyoming, ON – Lambton County Council held a special meeting via videoconference on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. At this meeting, Lambton County Council heard a presentation from Lambton Public Health (LPH) staff regarding details of the local COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan.
The three goals of Lambton County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program are to:
- Prevent deaths due to COVID-19.
- Protect health and other systems.
- Build a level of population immunity that will enable the recovery of economic and social activities that are critical to the long term health and well-being of the community.
The plan will be implemented by the Lambton COVID-19 Immunization Task Force which will report to the governing bodies of each of its constituent members. In addition, the Task Force will report routinely to the public on its activities. The new group will be led by LPH, with representation from key stakeholders critical to the success of the plan including: Health Care Partners like Bluewater Health, EMS, Primary Care, Community Emergency Management Coordinators (CEMCs) from the City of Sarnia and County of Lambton, and First Nations partners. Priority groups like those from Long Term Care, Retirement Homes and Hospice will also be included, dependent on the immunization phase.
“An undertaking of this magnitude will require significant coordination and support from all stakeholders, including Lambton County Council, our Board of Health. A dedicated COVID-19 Immunization Task Force will ensure we have the resources, planning tools and engagement of key partners,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Medical Officer of Health for Lambton County. “Lambton Public Health has the knowledge and expertise to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine, gained from delivering the flu vaccine and many other immunization programs to the community annually. I am confident that our knowledge and expertise, paired with that of our partners, will enable us to build a safe, effective, and efficient immunization program for Lambton County.” A successful mass immunization program is an immense undertaking which requires multiple integrated components. The Lambton COVID-19 Immunization Task Force’s first meeting was also held yesterday with discussions centered around communications, resource allocation, timelines for the plan’s roll-out, and key scientific and policy issues.
The Task Force is actively working together to implement the delivery of vaccines as they receive them, in alignment with the vision of a safe, effective, efficient, and equitable roll-out of the COVID-19 Immunization plan to the County of Lambton.
Immunization will be voluntary and made available to eligible adults 18 years of age and over, as per the eligibility outlined in the Phases below. Current population estimates show that 101,000 people in Lambton County will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Phase 1 (February – March 2021): As per the Provincial government, Phase 1 of the plan will be to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups, the residents and staff of Long-Term Care (LTC) and Retirement Homes. LTC Homes are currently gathering consents, preparing lists of staff and residents and providing dates/times for planning purposes, so that as soon as the vaccine arrives a schedule will be in place to bring the vaccine to those locations.
Phase 2 (March – May 2021): Phase 2 includes healthcare workers and other congregate care settings, First Nations communities and older adults. Clinics will be established in locations throughout the county. This phase is currently in development.
Phase 3 (June – August 2021): Phase 3 will see vaccines open to the public. This phase will involve multiple locations, and multiple immunizers including primary care providers and pharmacists. This phase is also currently in development.
“Please remember that timelines need to be flexible based on vaccine supply and changes to prioritization,” continued Dr. Ranade. “We all need to remember to be kind and patient with one another as we navigate through the phases of the plan and adapt to the ever-evolving situation.”
LPH has established a dedicated COVID-19 vaccine website for the public to access updates, timelines, priority group details, vaccine information, and other relevant details of the roll-out plan. Visit GetTheVaccine.ca to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Lambton County, and to stay up to date with the latest information surrounding the plan.
A recording of yesterday’s meeting and a PDF copy of the presentation is available online.
Council will next meet in Open Session at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.
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