Despite a provincial announcement Friday, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says it’s not yet able to book appointments for individuals 75-79 years of age.
In a news release, the health unit said they are still working on Phase 1 vaccinations for people ages 80 and older.
“Booking of Phase 2 priority vaccinations, which includes seniors aged 60-79 years of age, will begin when the majority of Phase 1 vaccinations are near completion,” the release said.
Ontario said Friday it is lowering the age threshold for its mass COVID-19 vaccinations next week, allowing individuals aged 75 and over to sign up for the shot using the province’s online booking portal. The change is set to take effect Monday.
But the North Bay health unit is asking residents to not try and book appointments for people in the younger age group until they announce they are ready.
“Try(ing) to book appointments at this time will not result in an appointment being created and it will slow the booking process down for others,” the health unit said.
To date, more than 8,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to residents in the health unit’s district, and more than 5,700 individuals aged 80 or older will be receiving their COVID-19 vaccine next week as it works through phase 1.
“We are truly happy to see the interest of residents in getting their COVID-19 vaccines,” Andrea McLellan, director of COVID-19 immunization strategy at the health unit, said in the release.
“I would like to remind the public that everyone who wishes to get a COVID-19 vaccine will get one in time and patience is needed as we move through the various priority groups and phases.”
The Health Unit, with support of community partners, has completed vaccinations in long-term care homes. The next priorities for vaccine rollout in our district are advancing steadily, including:
– Alternate level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors;
– Highest priority health care workers, followed by very high priority health care workers, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care worker prioritization.
As higher volumes of COVID-19 vaccine shipments become available in the region, the Health Unit will move to remaining Phase 1 populations, including:
– Staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors (e.g., assisted living);
– Health care workers in the high priority level, and in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care worker prioritization;
– All Indigenous adults;
– Adult recipients of chronic home care.
Priority populations for vaccine rollout are determined based on the ethical framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and vaccine availability.
For more information on local COVID-19 vaccine, status visit www.myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19Vaccine.
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