Hamilton Public Health has come up with a solution to getting the Pfizer vaccine to long-term care residents. They have developed a mobile unit that will allow the vaccine to remain stored at the ultra cold temperature that is required and at the same time allow the vulnerable population to receive the shots without having to be moved. Beginning today, the COVID-19 vaccination program is going out to residents at long-term care and high-risk retirement homes using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The mobile clinic will begin at Idlewyld Manor and will expand to include the vaccination of all long-term care home residents and those living in high-risk retirement homes in the city of Hamilton by January 18, 2021, including residents of homes that are currently in outbreak.
Public Health requests that no media attend the homes during their clinics and remind the community that all non-essential visitors are not permitted at long-term care homes. It is imperative that the privacy of the residents is preserved, and that staff continue to be able to dedicate their time to resident care.
• The criteria for selecting the sequence of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes was based on the following: risk of COVID-19 transmission, previous and current outbreak status, scheduling logistics in order to complete as soon as possible.
• Hamilton is expecting more information from the Provincial Government regarding the local distribution of the Moderna vaccine which will allow more of the priority populations to be vaccinated.
• The current fixed-site vaccination clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences will continue to take place 12 hours a day, seven days a week to deliver vaccine as the supply is received from the provincial government. This is a by appointment only clinic for eligible priority groups and walk-ins are not permitted.
• Vaccination roll-out will be based on the prioritization framework as determined by Provincial guidelines.
• It is expected that vaccines will become available for more people in the winter and spring of 2021. It is expected that by end of 2021 everyone who wants a vaccine will be offered a vaccine free of cost.
Commented Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health,“I am eager to have our teams begin vaccinating some of our most vulnerable population. I am encouraged by the amazing work that is taking place at the current clinic and now the expansion to include mobile clinics. This is about protecting those most at risk of COVID, saving lives and preserving healthcare capacity for all. “