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High interest in COVID-19 vaccine: health unit

Some local residents are receiving their second dose of the vaccine this week
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There's been a high interest in the COVID-19 vaccine in the region, according to the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU).

The health unit is currently administering the second dose of the vaccine in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nation Elders care residents. There are also vaccine clinics being held for staff and essential caregivers at the facilities, as well as the highest priority health care workers, according to the health unit in an update for the local vaccine rollout.

The update has been high, with the "vast majority" of residents receiving the vaccine.

“It is reassuring that these vulnerable people are equipped with another important tool in the fight against COVID-19, and we are anxious to move forward with other populations," said Dr. Lianne Catton, PHU medical officer of health, in a news release.

Right now, vaccine clinics are being booked directly with partners. The health unit will share announcements on how to book public clinics as groups are eligible. 

The anticipated schedule for this month is:

  • First week of March - Staff and essential caregivers of long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes; second doses for long-term care home residents, high-risk retirement home residents, and First Nation Elder care residents; highest-priority health care workers; residents, staff and essential caregivers of retirement homes. 
  • Second week of March - Indigenous adults 55 years and older in northern remote and higher-risk communities.
  • Third and fourth week of March - Adults 80 years and older; all Indigenous adults; other high-priority health care workers.

The health unit notes this schedule could change if more vaccines are received.

To date, there have been 341 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region. Of those, 301 people are recovered and 25 people have died. There are 15 known active cases.

There are COVID-19 assessment centres in Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls, Hearst, and Hornepayne. 

The Porcupine Health Unit COVID-19 information line can be reached at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.