According to the Ontario government, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) will see its first pharmacy vaccination clinics soon.
But exactly when isn’t known. Government officials on a technical media briefing on Wednesday said it would be sometime next month.
Those officials also said there would be at least three pharmacies within the jurisdiction carrying the AstraZeneca vaccine.
HKPRDHU acting medical officer of health Dr. Ian Gemmill also didn’t have an exact date as to when it would be rolled out or exactly where it would be in the large health unit jurisdiction.
“We have made some suggestions where it should be, but I would like to see some more geographical dispersion,” he said. “The province hasn’t decided yet to which pharmacies they’re going.”
Gemmill noted pharmacy vaccinations are popular in the first three regions where they were rolled out: Toronto, Windsor-Essex and Kingston.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is available at pharmacies in those regions for those 60 years of age and older, but not for those under the age of 55 while data is being reviewed by Health Canada.
“This vaccine is known to provide pretty darn good protection against infection and excellent protection against complications and hospitalizations, virtually 100 per cent,” Gemmill said.
“If you’re in the age group and eligible and you get an appointment, take it.”
Gemmill told reporters, in his final media conference before handing the reins over to the new medical officer of health, on Wednesday that residents should pay attention to the HKPRDHU website, social media posts and reports in the local media on what pharmacies will carry the vaccine once it’s announced.
As of March 29 at 8 p.m., in a regional status update for the HKPRDHU, the province reports more than 28,000 doses of vaccine have been administered within the jurisdiction, with 2,600 people fully vaccinated.
Eighty-two per cent of residents 80 years of age or older have received at least one dose of vaccine or have a scheduled appointment to receive the first dose.
More than 1,400 long-term care (LTC) residents have received the first dose, while more than 1,200 LTC residents are fully vaccinated.
More than 600 LTC staff members within the HKPRDHU have received at least one dose of vaccine while more than 300 are fully vaccinated.
The province also reports nearly 27,000 Pfizer and 4,800 Moderna vaccines have been received by the HKPRDHU to date.
The health unit will receive 11,700 Pfizer and 5,900 Moderna doses the week of April 5 to 12.
That same week, three mass vaccination sites will open in Campbellford, Minden and Fenelon Falls.
The following week, the site will open at the arena in Haliburton.
Those four clinics will join the mass sites at the Cobourg Community Centre and Lindsay Exhibition Grounds as the six community clinics that will operate within the jurisdiction over the next several weeks.
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