Point Edward, ON – The Lambton COVID-19 Immunization Task Force met Tuesday, March 16 to discuss updates to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan in Lambton County. Here are some highlights from the meeting:
A total of 12,653 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Lambton County since the beginning of the immunization rollout on January 26 (11,402 first doses, 1,251 second doses). This number represents over 10% of the eligible population in Lambton County and five times the number of people who have had COVID-19 in the community.
The Mobile Immunization Team has completed all second doses of the Moderna vaccine to long-term care, high-risk retirement and Elder Care homes. Immunizations of first doses to long-term care and retirement home staff, essential caregivers, medical first responders, 90+ year old residents and their in-home caregivers will be completed by the end of this week.
Vaccinations to urban Indigenous populations are ongoing. Clinics to vaccinate Indigenous adults also continue to be held at all three local First Nations communities including Aamjiwnaang, Kettle and Stony Point, and Walpole Island.
Individuals who are 80+ years of age and older (or who are turning 80 this year) are permitted to book their immunization appointments using the new online Provincial Booking System, which launched on Monday, March 15. To date, 3,712 appointments have been booked at one of three fixed site clinics in Lambton County using the new portal.
The following priority groups are pre-registering their vaccination appointments using Lambton Public Health’s system this week: healthcare workers and adult recipients of chronic home healthcare. One in-home caregiver who resides in the same household as the 80+ year old individual is also permitted to get the vaccine by pre-registering with Lambton Public Health. Once you’ve completed the pre-registration process, you will receive an invitation to schedule an immunization appointment directly.
LPH is currently working to plan, design and implement a new high output model at the Point Edward Arena which will allow for the immunization of higher volumes of people. This model will begin on Monday, March 22. Plans are also underway to open a second high volume clinic at Clearwater Arena in Sarnia, once the model is tested in Point Edward and vaccine supply is available to support a second high output clinic.
The Province of Ontario recently announced a change to the interval times between doses for three Heath Canada approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca). Starting March 10, the time between first and second doses of those vaccines has been extended to 16 weeks (4 months). This will allow Ontario to rapidly accelerate its vaccine rollout and maximize the number of people receiving first doses within the context of a limited supply.
If you received your first dose of one of these vaccines prior to March 10, your second dose appointment will need to be re-scheduled. Lambton Public Health will contact you regarding this soon.
A shipment of Moderna (3,800 doses) was delivered on Saturday, March 13. The majority of doses in this of this shipment are allocated to the three First Nations communities as a priority Phase 1 population. The remaining doses will be administered at local clinics. Lambton Public Health also received 2,340 doses of Pfizer on Monday, March 15. Additional shipments of both vaccines are due to arrive in the coming weeks.
The Immunization Task Force would like to remind everyone to stay vigilant. Strong adherence to public health and workplace safety measures, including continued and limited closures in some settings, is necessary given the emergence of COVID-19 Variants of Concern that are currently circulating in Lambton County. Community rates of transmission are an early indicator of health system capacity challenges. Together, we can beat this pandemic!
Please visit GetTheVaccine.ca for the latest updates on the vaccine roll-out plan in Lambton County. For specific questions about the vaccine or other local inquiries, Lambton Public Health’s call centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30pm at 519-383-8331.
The Lambton COVID-19 Immunization Task Force is a group dedicated to the safe, comprehensive, effective, efficient and equitable rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Lambton County. Led by Lambton Public Health, the group consists of key stakeholders critical to the success of the plan including: Bluewater Health, Emergency Medical Services, Primary Care, Community Emergency Management Coordinators from the City of Sarnia, Village of Point Edward and County of Lambton, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, and Walpole Island First Nation. The Task Force works to make vaccinations available to eligible populations in alignment with the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan.