Public Health Sudbury & Districts confirms COVID-19 vaccination for long-term care residents and updates on outbreaksIssued: Monday, January 25, 2021
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is confirming that this week marks the start of the much-anticipated vaccination program for residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes. Public Health is receiving shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine over the next two weeks in quantities sufficient to immunize all residents of the facilities in its service area by February 5, 2021.
“This is wonderful news for our community, and we are very eager to immunize and protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Vaccines are a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19. We look forward to working with our partners on a safe, effective, and efficient round of immunizations,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.
Public Health is working closely with community partners to complete vaccinations by February 5 or earlier. The vaccine will be offered to everyone eligible to receive it on a voluntary basis. The vaccine is a safe and effective tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting health of everyone, including our most vulnerable, in the community.
This news follows on the successful vaccination of residents, staff and essential care givers of the Wikwemikong Nursing Home on January 13.
Area long-term care homes will be sequenced over the next two weeks based on vaccine availability, COVID-19 case rates and outbreaks, and other factors such as logistics to avoid vaccine wastage.
The critical need for COVID-19 vaccine to protect our most vulnerable has been further highlighted with several recent outbreaks declared locally. Most recently, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has declared COVID-19 outbreaks at Pius XII Catholic School, following three associated cases, and at Summit Human Services (group home), a congregate living setting, following the report of one case of COVID-19 in a staff member.
“Our worry with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply reductions was that we would have to wait longer and so we are thrilled that supplies of the Moderna vaccine are being made available to protect vulnerable people across the province,” noted Dr. Sutcliffe. “I would like to thank long-term care homes and community paramedicine for their support in partnering in this truly unprecedented vaccination plan,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.
Public Health is reminding everyone to continue to follow public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We must work together by staying apart, staying home, and staying COVID-safe. Continue to screen yourself for symptoms, stay home and do not attend work or school when ill. For essential outings, continue to practise physical distancing, wear your mask, and wash your hands. On January 12, 2021, the Province of Ontario declared a second provincial emergency with a stay-at-home order which is currently in effect.
Updates about COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, and outbreaks in Greater Sudbury, the District of Sudbury, and the District of Manitoulin are posted online.
Public Health remains committed to providing timely information and resources on our vaccine planning and rollout. For more information or if you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).