On March 3, the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered to 78 Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) staff and physicians.
Following the provincial ethical framework, the vaccine roll-out at RMH will prioritize staff and physicians who are considered front line, in high risk clinical areas. It is anticipated that all highest priority staff and physicians will receive their first dose by the end of the week.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has confirmed that the hospital will receive enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the coming weeks, to complete both first and second doses for its entire team of more than 1,000 staff and physicians, as well as to support vaccinations for other health care workers in the community.
“This marks an important milestone in the battle against COVID-19 – a battle which our staff and physicians have been on the front lines of for a year now,” says Kelly Isfan, RMH president and CEO. “We can all sleep better knowing that our team is protected against this deadly virus, and we can continue to provide exceptional care to our community.”
“We thank RMH for their work in vaccinating health care workers in our community,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting medical officer of Health with the HKPRDHU. “The hospital and its staff have worked with the local public health agency throughout this pandemic, and they continue to help to prevent the spread of this virus to others by vaccinating their staff who are seeing and treating patients.”
With additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine being delivered locally, the local health unit is continuing to provide vaccine to the long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes to ensure that those staff are vaccinated. Once additional vaccine arrives in the community, HKPRDHU will continue to work with all of its health care partners to provide vaccine to more residents of the region as identified by the provincial priority list.
The provincial government has announced the launching of a new provincial registration system that area residents, starting with people over the age of 80 years, will be able to use to book appointments for their vaccination. The system is expected to launch on March 15 and will include a phone-in option for those residents who do not have access to a computer.
“We are asking our residents to be patient for just a bit longer,” Gemmill said, “We are finalizing our clinic plans based on when we expect to receive more vaccine and the booking system will soon be coming online. Once those are in place, we will start to see those residents over the age of 80 years start to be vaccinated locally.”