Seeking support to improve vaccine uptake among vulnerable groups and priority populations
August 6, 2021
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To: Health care providers
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Let’s enhance vaccine uptake among our vulnerable populations
This Advisory Alert requests your support, as valuable partners in health care, to help enhance vaccine uptake among some of our most vulnerable groups and priority populations. With the Delta variant now the most common strain among local COVID-19 cases, we are aiming high with a goal of 90% vaccine coverage within our communities to achieve the best protection possible against COVID-19 and the variants.
Current vaccine coverage and gaps
Overall, coverage rates within the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts are very good, with just over 80% first-dose coverage and approximately 71% second-dose coverage. However, data presently indicates low uptake among some of the most vulnerable populations. These groups include those who are pregnant, those in contact with long term care homes, recent refugees, newcomer immigrants, chronic home care recipients, as well as those with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorder.
We need to ensure that everyone in our communities, including our most vulnerable, benefit from the advantages of the vaccine as we look ahead to the upcoming fall season.
Seeking your assistance to contact your patients
We are now employing extra efforts to increase vaccine coverage for these vulnerable groups and ask that you reach out to your patients, guide a conversation, and encourage them to get their vaccine. For those who may be reluctant for specific reasons, this Vaccine Hesitancy Guide www.vhguide.ca addresses hesitancies related to the COVID-19 vaccine, providing user-friendly prompts and ways to engage, affirm, ask, share and evoke, using motivational interviewing principles.
A focused approach with these populations is needed to augment our vaccine strategy and keep our communities as healthy as possible going forward. Public Health is currently engaging key community partners, including primary care, to ensure opportunities are made available to key priority populations who may still need a vaccine.
Getting the vaccine is easier than ever
With numerous location options for vaccination, we aim to make the vaccine accessible to all, including our most vulnerable. With the support of local partners, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has launched vaccination approaches across our service area to bring clinics to communities and neighbourhoods to reduce barriers to attending mass clinics and make accessing vaccines easy and convenient. The aim is to provide vaccination opportunities for any priority population or individual or group requiring addition supports or alternative vaccination methods.
Enhanced accessibility continues with pop-up clinics and mobile clinics, in addition to mass immunization clinics (which will wind down around the second week in August), as well as some primary care and pharmacy locations who offer COVID-19 vaccination.
Furthermore, our Healthy Babies Healthy Children, public health nurses are offering vaccines in the home for their clients and immunizations for homebound clients continue to be options for priority populations. Additional opportunities will continue to be made available in the coming weeks. Health care providers seeking additional information on how to support COVID-19 vaccine administration for clients and priority populations can reach out directly to the COVID-19 vaccine email at PHSD_COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
All individuals can visit our Vaccination Clinics for COVID-19 webpage for information on clinic dates, times and locations. Clients can also book an appointment online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or by calling 705.674.2299 (toll-free: 1.800.708.2505), between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.
With the COVID-19 Delta variant spreading throughout Ontario, it is more important than ever to complete the vaccine series and boost immune response. Emerging evidence shows that there is lower effectiveness of one dose, compared to two, against the Delta variant. Individuals must complete the vaccine series with two doses to improve vaccine effectiveness.
For additional information on the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as for specific answers to your frequently asked questions visit our FAQ web page or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
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 August 6, 2021