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Southwest Coast begins vaccinations

The first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to protect against COVID-19 and its variants are underway in the province, including the Southwest coast region, during Phase 1 of the vaccination roll out. – PIXABAY

By ROSALYN ROY

PORT AUX BASQUES – Some residents and front-line health care workers in this region have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

During Phase 1 of the roll out, vaccinations are prioritized for those considered most vulnerable by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). That means people residing in long-term care homes, front-line healthcare workers, seniors 85 or older, and adults living in remote or isolated Indigenous communities will be vaccinated first.

“Our long term care residents and some staff at LeGrow received Moderna yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 16),” confirmed Dr. David Thomas, Chief of Staff at the Dr. Charles L. LeGrow Health Centre. “Pfizer is here next week for residents of our personal care homes and more of our health care staff.”

As of Feb. 6, only 1.70% of the province had received their first dose of the vaccine, and 2.593% of the country has received at least one dose. Canada currently has one of the lowest dose rates in the world, at 3.52% as of Feb. 17, 2021.

“Western Health will be receiving trays of vaccine weekly from now on. They will be spread across the region,” says Thomas. “No word on general public yet.”

The general public are not scheduled to be vaccinated until Phase 3, and only after most high-risk priority groups have been immunized. Enough doses are expected to be available to vaccinate everyone in Canada by Fall 2021.

Erin Shea, Director of Communications for the Department of Health and Community Services responded to inquiries via e-mail.

“The ultimate goal of Newfoundland and Labrador’s COVID-19 immunization plan is to immunize as many people as quickly as possible in an ethical and risk-stratified manner. The province is currently in Phase One of its immunization plan. Details are being finalized on future phases. Information on future phases will be provided publicly when it is available.”

More information can be found online at: http://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/.

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