The seven mayors of Northumberland County welcome today’s announcement by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) that COVID-19 vaccinations for the general public will get underway next week, beginning with residents aged 80 years and older who currently have a local primary health care provider. Local municipalities have been supporting the community collaboration to plan for and open two mass vaccination clinics in Northumberland, the first one launching at the Cobourg Community Centre on March 16, with a second clin­ic under development for the Trent Hills Emergency Services Base in Camp­bellford.

In a Special Meeting of County Council on Tuesday, March 9, Dr. Ian Gem­mill, Acting Medical Officer of Health for HKPRDHU, updated Council on plans for this next phase of rollout to the community. Dr. Gemmill indicated that this round of vaccinations for residents born in 1941 or earlier will begin March 16and will continue for the next two to three weeks depending on vaccine availa­bility. Ultimately, HKPRDHU will maintain these two fixed site clinics for the next six months, opening appointments to eligible priority groups in step with the Province’s phased distribution plan and as supply permits.

Recognizing that the locations for the initial two clinics were identified based on linkages to local health care hubs in order to maximize system capacity, Council supports the Health Unit’s plans to add mobile and drive-through clin­ics to the distribution network as rollout progresses in order to bring vaccina­tion opportunities closer to more residents. Council reiterated to Dr. Gemmill that Northumberland municipalities are eager to further support this priority work in any way needed. Municipal facilities and human resources are at the Health Unit’s disposal to expedite swift and efficient distribution of vaccine to residents as supply flows into the community.

“County Council thanks the Health Unit for their continued advocacy and hard work in planning and managing resources and supports for our community throughout the pandemic, and now in coordinating local efforts for vaccine rollout,” states Warden Bob Crate. “We recognize the complexities of imple­menting mass vaccination plans given current limitations of supply. While we have seen important progress with the immunization of local long-term care residents, front-line health care workers and first responders, Council joins the Health Unit and local health partners in continuing to underscore the im­portance of increased vaccine allocation for the communities served by the HKPRHU.

“Northumberland residents have worked hard throughout this very challenging year to diligently follow public health guidelines and keep local COVID-19 numbers low. The flow of vaccines into our community is vital to ensure we maintain this ground and avoid a rise in local cases of COVID-19, and so we can effectively restart our economy and begin the process of recovery by safely resuming more regular activities.”

Starting today, area residents born in 1941 or earlier who have a local primary health care provider will be receiving a call to book an appointment. Residents in this age group who do not currently have a local primary health care provid­er – or who do not hear from their local provider by Monday, March 15 – can book a vaccination appointment directly through the Province’s registration system, due to go live on March 15. These appointments can be booked online, but there will also be a phone-in option for people who cannot book their appointments online.

Once vaccinations of residents aged 80 years and older is complete, HKPRDHU will begin accepting appointments from those highlighted in the province’s priority groups – adults with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers, those unable to work from home, and older adults between the ages of 60 to 79 in five-year increments.

Looking for more information about the vaccination appointments for residents ages 80 and older?

Read the HKPRDHU announcement.

Looking for information about the currently approved COVID-19 vac­cines?

Learn more about Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program on the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 webpage.

Get context on vaccines from our local HKPR District Health Unit.

By NewsChaserNTHLD

I have been bringing Northumberland County and its surrounding areas relevant news as it happens since 2019.

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