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The competition is going on to “get the vaccine into the weapon as soon as possible”

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Cases of COVID-19 have declined across the state since the second blockade, but the Sudbury and District Public Health Service said there was ongoing competition to vaccinate as many people as possible. I did.

At a Health Commission meeting Thursday, health officer Dr. Penny Satcliff emphasized the importance of preparing to deploy the COVID-19 vaccine in the light of new concerns identified in the region. did.

“What we really have is the battle between vaccines and variants. Our focus is on these COVID-19 vaccines, getting the vaccines as soon as possible, these To be able to beat the variants, “says Dr. Penny Satcliff.

There was a very real concern that an increase in atypical cases could trigger a third wave, she added during her presentation to the Board on the Health Unit’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment program.

“We’ve been deeply involved in the second wave, and as we’ve seen across the state, the numbers seem to be declining slightly, but we do see the complexity of the cases and their associated developments. Is increasing, “said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe.

“I’m happy to see the numbers go down, but the reason we’re not so happy and still very cautiously worried is because we’re aware of a variant of concern. These are COVIDs. A viral variant that causes -19 and increases the infectivity of the virus. ”

According to Sutcliffe, variants now account for about 5-10% of cases in the state, but the number is increasing over time.

“The variant is expected to become the dominant strain in March,” she said.

Public health measures have been determined to be effective against new strains of the virus, but Dr. Sutcliff calls for continued vigilance.

“They are so contagious that we need to be more committed to their public health measures,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the “light at the end of the tunnel” and public health is working hard behind the scenes to distribute it to the community as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

“As the state government states, the goal is for all Ontario citizens who want and can be vaccinated to receive it by early August. These dates are due to problems with the supply of vaccines. It is subject to change, “she said.

“When vaccination here, we will be as prepared as possible, but keep in mind that it is difficult to supply to Ontario and northern Ontario.”

A total of 501,867 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ontario, and as of 10:30 am on February 18, 205,802 people have been fully vaccinated in the state.

“It’s a high dose, but Ontario has a population of just under 15 million and is a qualified population, so people of the age to be vaccinated are about 85 percent of that population,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. Stated.

“Currently, only 2.3% of the total eligible population is vaccinated with one or two doses, and most still have a long way to go to get one dose.”

The public has developed the “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook” to plan a vaccine deployment program that describes the “diversified and vast geography” of its service area. (See the related article on page A4).

This strategy shows that the health unit achieves 75% coverage of all eligible recipients in the area.

“Plan a comprehensive framework and additional details on how we immunize our population, and ensure that we are aware of the diversity, capabilities and strengths of our communities and the challenges of our region. “Dr. Sutcliffe said. ..

The framework also recognizes the Anishinaabe and Cree tribes in the region and attempts to “develop an approach that respects self-determination and the hopes of these communities.”

The playbook is 90 pages long and is available on the Health Units website.

It outlines the logistics and operations of vaccine deployment, communication and engagement strategies, financial aspects, and evaluation of public health program planning and implementation.

This is a live document that will be updated as more information becomes available.

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“This is not your regular flu campaign. It should be used for all doses that go into your right arm, issues related to vaccine storage and handling guidelines, vaccine stability, qualified recipient registration and inventory management. Some data systems have strong accountability. ” Dr. Sutcliffe.

Health unit personnel presented a playbook to members of General Rick Hillier’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and participated in an emergency exercise to identify planning gaps.

“We were really thinking about how to plan in the face of many uncertainties. There are many twists and turns on this path of COVID vaccines, which affect our ability to deliver the vaccine. Many things are happening to give, “says Dr. Sutcliffe.

The health unit expects demand to continue to outpace supply until at least the end of March, and Phase 1 priority groups in state planning continue to evolve.

There is also a “proportionate vaccine according to the size of the priority group” plan and available doses.

Ultimately, the health unit is trying to keep things simple, agile, and reach the goal of getting the vaccine into the weapon as soon as possible.

To do this, the health unit distributes vaccines through fixed-site mask clinics, hospital-led mini-clinics, and mobile clinics.

As of February 10, a total of 1,729 initial vaccinations have been given in the PHSD service area.

The next shipment of the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered on February 22nd and March 1st, and another shipment of the Moderna vaccine is scheduled for February 22nd.

Next, care facility staff and basic caregivers are on the list of vaccinations, along with top priority health care workers and registered Elderly Housing with Care residents.

“We still have miles, but we’re definitely off to a good start,” concludes Dr. Sutcliffe.

“There are all the factors to do this safely and efficiently. We really want the availability of vaccines to be the only major limiting factor for us. As soon as we get the vaccine here I’m ready. ”

The Local Journalism Initiative was made possible by federal funding.

[email protected]

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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