Administration of Publicly Funded COVID-19 Vaccine in Ontario and Primary Care Clinics
April 14, 2021
*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.
To: primary care providers
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Update to Primary Care Clinics Regarding Phase 2: Mass Delivery of Vaccines
This Advisory Alert provides an update regarding the phase 2 expansion of vaccine rollout and the ongoing collaborations between primary care and Public Health throughout the mass delivery of vaccines.
As Public Health continues to ensure the local implementation of the vaccination program and plans for vaccine allocation to primary care as feasible, strong collaboration between PHUs and primary care providers are essential.
Role of Primary Care
Primary care has multiple roles to play in the vaccine rollout including supporting mass vaccination clinics and mobile units, onboarding practices to administer vaccine in their offices and, ongoing patient education on vaccine safety and efficacy.
Per the memo issued from the Ministry of Health’s Primary Health Care Branch, primary care clinics are also asked to support vaccine rollout by contacting all patients eligible for vaccination using appropriate age bands, as well as for patients with health conditions in the Highest Risk, followed by High Risk categories. Locally, we continue to seek support for the identification of individuals with eligible health conditions, and their caregiver, per processes shared in the Advisory Alerts issued on March 31 and April 8, 2021.
Those at Highest Risk include:
- Organ transplant recipients
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
- People with neurologic diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g. motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
- Hematologic malignancy diagnosed <1
- Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30
One essential caregiver per patient is also eligible for a vaccination appointment.
Those at High Risk include:
- Obesity (BMI>40)
- Other immunosuppressive treatments (e.g. Chemotherapy, Immunity-weakening medications)
- Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g. Down Syndrome)
One essential caregiver per patient, is also eligible for a vaccination appointment if the patient requires assistance with personal care and/or activities of daily living.
No attestations will be required from Ontarians when they attend a clinic for vaccination under this program.
If individuals cannot contact their health care provider an assessment will be done at the vaccine clinic to determine medical suitability. If it is assessed that further medical consultation is required, immunization will not occur.
For links to further COVID-19 vaccine information in the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area, please visit: Public Health Sudbury & Districts – COVID-19 Vaccine (phsd.ca).
PHU Roles and Responsibilities
As vaccination efforts continue, Public Health will continue to provide leadership in local rollout.
- Public Health Units’ roles and responsibilities for the COVID-19 vaccine program include those as per the Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidance. This includes working with providers on temperature excursions and other issues arising with the vaccine (e.g. vial damage) as well as documentation of these issues / wastage by the provider as required in the COVaxON
- The PHU will be the main point of contact for primary care providers.
- PHUs will continue to be responsible for vaccine allocation, ancillary supplies, and distribution to designated primary care providers.
- COVaxON will be mandatory for primary care settings taking part in the COVID-19 vaccine administration program. Each PHU (Authorized Organization) will be responsible for setting up each primary care site as a Vaccination Event (VE) in COVaxON. Public Health has arranged with OntarioMD to provide training and onboarding support (e.g., train the trainer) to participating primary care providers.
- Wastage and temperature excursions are expected to be documented in the COVaxON system and monitored by the PHUs.
For links to further COVID-19 vaccine-relevant information and planning resources, please see the Ministry of Health website: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/covid19_vaccine.aspx
Thank you again for your support in Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign. We look forward to continuing to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine administration and the continued strong collaboration between PHUs and primary care providers to ensure efficient distribution across the province. We will continue to provide subsequent updates.
Original Signed By
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.
This item was last modified on April 14, 2021