Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) has released answers to commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to the public. This includes information about who in Dufferin will be able to get vaccinated first, when and where immunizations will be initially administered, when the vaccine rollout will begin, and more. As there are still frequent developments in vaccine research and distribution, all of this is subject to change, so be sure to check the WDGPH website for the most current information. As soon as updates become available, WDG Public Health will communicate them to the public and affected stakeholders.
Who in Dufferin will be the first to get vaccinated?
The Province of Ontario communicated which groups will be the first to be immunized against COVID-19 on December 7, 2020: a) Residents, employees, staff, and essential caregivers of congregate living settings that provide care for seniors b) Those who work in health care settings and in direct contact with patients c) Adults that receive chronic home health care d) Adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations where outbreaks and infection can have disproportionate effects.
As soon as the vaccine becomes available to the community, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is prepared to begin rolling it out to the prioritized groups. Public Health is already contacting people to get them ready for upcoming vaccine clinics. The COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be predicated on the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health until the province’s supply expands. WDGPH suggests that once this occurs, there will be more methods to obtain the vaccine.
When will WDGPH get their first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines?
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced that it will obtain its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on January 4, 2021. The full vaccination program is ready to launch the next day on January 5th. WDGPH states that due to the transportation and storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine, immunizations will be administered at their office in Guelph for the time being. This situation will change, as new storage solutions and vaccines become available.
“This is a major moment for our region,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of WDGPH. “I know all of us have been anxiously waiting for this news and I am pleased to be able to share it with you. Receiving our first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine marks the beginning of the final phase of this pandemic, as we move toward providing a vaccine for everyone who wants it.”
How will we find out if we are amongst the first selected?
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will contact those who are eligible to be vaccinated. An appointment will be scheduled at a WDGPH office to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health is working with local hospitals, Ontario Health Teams, Family Health Teams, Primary Care Providers, and congregate settings to assist with vaccine administration where needed. The vaccine is not available to the public upon request. WDGPH requests that people do not contact public health or healthcare providers to ask when it will become available. WDG Public Health will share this information when it is known. Also, do not attempt to be added to a waiting list that does not currently exist.
More information about the vaccines:
There is no data that a vaccine will prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. It takes time, possibly a month or longer, for a vaccine to build up its protective effects. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health states that until the vaccine is widely administered and a substantial portion of the public becomes immune to COVID-19, one must keep following public health measures and rules and continue to take action to assist in slowing the spread of the virus. There will be some who do not get the vaccine, which means there will still be a risk of transmission.
“It will take several months before the vaccine is available to all of us who want it,” said Dr. Mercer. “In the meantime, we must all continue to follow the public health measures we know will keep everyone safe: gathering with only those you live with, wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing of six feet and practicing good hand hygiene. We want to make sure everyone gets safely to the end of this pandemic together.”
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health states that it can deliver all of the vaccines that are now available to the public. WDG Public Health is the first public health unit in Ontario approved for storage and administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
What is the current state of COVID in Dufferin?
There are a significant amount of COVID-19 infection cases, straining the region’s hospital and health systems. Furthermore, it has taken its toll on the well-being of health care workers that have been on the front-lines of this pandemic for most of 2020. On December 30, WDGPH reports the following for COVID-19 in Dufferin County:
- 23 newly confirmed cases, 74 active cases, with 4 in the hospital
- Active Cases by Municipality: Amaranth – 5, East Garafraxa – 1, Grand Valley – 1, Melancthon – 1, Mono – 12, Mulmur – 1, Orangeville – 45, Shelburne – 8
- 626 total confirmed cases, 526 ‘Resolved’ cases, 26 fatal cases
- Of those who caught COVID-19 in Dufferin, 53.7% have been female, 46.3% male
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, one can book an appointment at the Headwaters COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Orangeville. Additional information on testing, such as testing for those who are asymptomatic, can be found here.
Reference Links – WDPGH Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information for the Public – Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
- Answers to your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions
- Status of Cases in WDG
- Headwaters COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Orangeville)
- Testing and Assessment Centres in WDG
- WDG Public Health to begin vaccinations against COVID-19 on January 4
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