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Public Health pausing routine vaccinations, asking local docs to pick up the slack

Health unit is halting routine vaccinations to focus on COVID-19 immunization and is asking local physicians to help ease the pressure by offering common vaccinations to their patients and by pitching in at COVID clinics

The Sudbury health unit has put out a call for help from the medical community. In a statement issued Monday, Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) said it is seeking help from the primary healthcare community to help provide routine immunization services.

PHSD said the additional demands of providing vaccines to children along with the pressures of managing the rising COVID-19 case counts means that some of the routine public health services are temporarily being suspended. This includes routine vaccination services, said PHSD ( Hepatitis B, Human papillomavirus (HPV), and Shingles).

"At this time and until further notice, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is asking primary care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners) to create and provide opportunities for your patients to receive all of the publicly funded immunizations for which they are eligible," said PHSD.

"This includes providing point-of-care review of immunization records and offering all vaccines for eligible persons during any visit to a primary care provider’s office. It may include recalling persons who are overdue for recommended doses, sending reminders for vaccinations when patients are due for vaccines, and administering vaccines that have traditionally been provided by public health," PHSD continued. 

In addition to that, Public Health is looking for local primary health care providers who would be willing to assist in vaccinating persons beyond their rostered patients to help fill the gap that will be created by a reduction in public health vaccination services.

PHSD said any local doctors and NPs who have questions on patient specific vaccination needs or require an immunization record please contact the immunization program at 705-522-9200 ext. 458.  Any that are  able to assist in providing immunization services to un-rostered patients, please contact the VPD program manager Megan Touchette at 705-522-9200, ext. 3162, said the PHSD statement.