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Public Health Sudbury & Districts unveils COVID-19 vaccination playbook

Local public health is targeting at least 75 per cent of eligible residents
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Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) has issued what it calls the Vaccination Program Playbook that lays out when local health care workers, long-term care residents and ordinary citizens can expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  

Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) has issued what it calls the Vaccination Program Playbook that lays out when local health care workers, long-term care residents and ordinary citizens can expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  

The PHSD playbook plan is an 87-page document that lays out all the details of how public health workers will deliver the vaccine and how members of the public will be involved.

“When the vaccine arrives locally, we want to get it into the arms of eligible residents as rapidly as possible. This means that pre-planning is essential. We have been working with partners and waiting with great anticipation for this crucial work to begin,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, PHSD Medical Officer of Health, in a news release.

“The Playbook is our roadmap to put the COVID-19 pandemic in our rear-view mirror. The task ahead of us is daunting, but it’s made possible by our collective ‘can-do’ attitude. So many have stepped up to offer help and planning groups are being set up across our catchment area,” Sutcliffe added.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts said it would be following the Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan and the recent COVID-19 Vaccination Update to implement the local vaccination program in three phases.

The statement said the rollout would be occurring in three phases;

-Phase 1 (January to March): vaccines will be offered to residents of congregate living for seniors like long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes including staff and essential care givers; health care workers; adult (16+) First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations; and adult chronic home care recipients (16+).

-Phase 2 (April to August): essential workers; adults aged 60+; staff and residents of shelters and group homes; at-risk populations; and remaining adults aged 16 to 59 will be able to get vaccinated.

-Phase 3 (September and ongoing): all remaining eligible populations who wish to be vaccinated will be able to do so.

PHSD said the vaccination program will be done to ensure that as many people get access to the vaccine based on sound ethics and efficiency. 

"Three main approaches are planned for the vaccination of residents in Chapleau, Greater Sudbury, Lacloche Foothills, Manitoulin Island, and Sudbury East," said the PHSD news release. 

This will include mobile vaccination stations, mass vaccination clinics and practice-based clinics such as pharmacies and doctor's offices. 

“I know the question that is top of mind for many of us is, ‘When will I get the vaccine?’,” said Sutcliffe in the news release. 

“Answering that question is very difficult because although we have a playbook, executing it is dependent on vaccine supply from the province. So, our playbook maps out the time sequencing of vaccinations using various scenarios. It’s clear that we all still need a big dose of patience and ongoing commitment to COVID-19 prevention measures, but we are embarking on an epic journey," said Sutcliffe. 

It is expected that public health staff, community paramedicine, primary care providers, hospitals, and pharmacies will all be involved in the vaccination program, said PHSD.

"The goal of the local vaccination program is to achieve a coverage level of at least 75 per cent of eligible recipients in the service area, within the prescribed time frame, and respecting provincial direction on vaccine recipient sequencing," said PHSD.

In the meantime, as the vaccine rollout is underway, PHSD said it is committed to providing timely updates as information about vaccine availability and distribution becomes known. More information will be posted to the PHSD.ca website