By Kaitlyn Clark
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—The COVID-19 vaccination program is rolling along smoothly in Haldimand Norfolk, with project lead Sarah Page announcing that they “hit over 15,000 vaccines in arms on Friday (March 19, 2021).”
“We’re working diligently with our team across the health unit, paramedics, and our community partners. We’re aiming for two mass clinics a week in the Haldimand side and two mass clinics a week in the Norfolk side, combining all of those upwards of 5,000 doses a week,” said Page. “We are at multiple physicians’ offices and we just did a mass delivery (Monday, March 22) to 13 different physicians across both counties for about 800 doses of Moderna that are going into arms this week. Our community paramedics continue to run clinics in their social housing clinic areas that they were doing in the past.”
Haldimand has completed giving first doses to those in Phase 1 who agreed to be vaccinated, and has extended the age range to those aged 75 and above going forward while they await permission from the Province to officially enter Phase 2. Unless otherwise announced, individuals in Phase 1 & 2 in Haldimand and Norfolk counties will continue to be contacted by their family physicians to book vaccine appointments once they become eligible. Those aged 75 and above should be receiving a call from their family physician shortly. Those without a family physician in Haldimand can make an appointment themselves by calling 519-427-5903 or emailing email@example.com.
“We’re progressing nicely through the lots that we have and trying to get as much vaccine out there,” said Page. “So, we’re working hard and the team is working great.”
Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai reiterated his hopes to “vaccinate as many people in as quickly a timeframe as possible.” As part of this goal, the COVID-19 Task Force has implemented a vaccine waitlist to ensure all doses available are administered. Individuals aged 70-74 can now sign up at hnhu.org/vaccinewaitlist. Individuals will only be contacted if there are available doses at end of day due to cancellations, no-shows, etc.
In an effort to expedite delivery of available vaccines to eligible residents as quickly as possible, waitlists will continue to be generated for individuals who are in the age category that follows those currently being vaccinated. A new waitlist will be generated for each age group in five-year increments as the rollout progresses. Details will be shared when the waitlist opens for each age category; you will not be able to register for the waitlist until your specific age category becomes eligible.
At this time, Haldimand Norfolk has only received doses of Pfizer and Moderna. When asked about concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine, Nesathurai stated that “overall vaccines are safe. Any time we have a vaccine we monitor for potential side effects … and we will continue to follow the federal guidance on vaccines.”