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Vaccine roll-out: Residents asked to remain patient

Durham residents are being asked to remain patient as the Health Department begins to operate Covid-19 vaccination clinics for immediate priority groups.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle, said the Health Department continues to receive numerous inquiries from residents about the availability of Covid-19 vaccine.

“We are very pleased that area residents are expressing an interest in getting vaccinated as soon as possible, as vaccination of the broader community will reduce the risks of Covid-19 across the region. While we understand that many are anxiously awaiting their turn, at this time we are working to ensure that immediate priority groups are vaccinated in accordance with the province’s three-phased vaccine distribution implementation plan,” he said in an issued statement.

In partnership with Lakeridge Health, the Health Department will begin operating Covid-19 vaccination clinics for the following Phase 1 priority groups:

  • Staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes, and residents of these homes that have not been vaccinated;
  • Alternate level of care patients in hospitals who have confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home;
  • Highest Priority health care workers, followed by Very High Priority health care workers, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19: Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for Covid-19 Vaccination; and,
  • Indigenous adults in northern remote and higher risk communities (including on-reserve and urban communities).

Dr. Kyle said currently, vaccination clinics are not open to the public and Durham Health is not taking bookings or reservations from residents. When all immediate priority groups have been vaccinated, vaccination of other remaining Phase 1 population groups will begin.

No general vaccination timeline yet

“We will communicate to community members and local health care providers when appointments can be booked for this population. Timelines for vaccinating Phase 2 priority groups will depend on vaccine availability and completion of vaccination of Phase 1 priority groups,” said Dr. Kyle.

Dr Robert Kyle

The Health Department continues to prepare for immunization of the broader community. With the support of local area municipalities, future clinic locations have been secured in all Durham Region municipalities, which will provide access to residents in the communities where they live.

“We are pleased that we will be vaccinating immediate priority groups next and ask for everyone’s continued patience as we follow provincial direction and work through each phase of the vaccine distribution implementation plan. Please continue to follow public health measures, stay at home as much as possible, avoid social gatherings, and where possible, work remotely. Any non-essential travel should be avoided, even between public health measure zones. Travel between regions should be avoided as it will greatly increase the potential for spikes in community spread and undo all the progress we have made,” Dr. Kyle added.

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