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COVID-19 vaccinations of nursing home residents, staff are first in Sudbury district

'I am thrilled to see the vaccine getting into the arms of the most vulnerable people in our area, and those who care for them.'
2020-12-23 moderna covid-19 vaccine
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Photo/ The Canadian Press

The Wikwemikong Nursing Home on Manitoulin Island is the site of the first COVID-19 vaccination doses to be administered in the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area.

Meanwhile, residents in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit patiently wait for their chance to roll up their sleeves.

PHSD released more information Wednesday about the first delivery of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and its collaboration with the nursing home to provide support with their vaccination clinic.

"I am thrilled to see the vaccine getting into the arms of the most vulnerable people in our area, and those who care for them,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health with PHSD.

"Chief Peltier and the staff of the Wikwemikong Nursing Home are the champions, and Public Health Sudbury & Districts are proud to support them in this historic moment.

"Vaccines are a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19. I look forward to our continued collaboration for a safe, effective and efficient rollout of the vaccine to protect against COVID-19."

Ogimaa Duke Peltier said Wiikwemkoong First Nation believes immunization against the virus is one important way to protect its community from COVID-19 and will be encouraging everyone to get the vaccine as it becomes available.

"We are relieved to be able to provide our most vulnerable with the vaccination. Wiikwemkoong was been diligent in taking all the measures possible to keep our citizens and community free from the spread of COVID-19," noted Peltier.

The North Bay Parry Sound district's lower case numbers appear to have placed the area down the pecking order when it comes to vaccine roll-out. Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli advised before the holidays "front-line health care workers everywhere, long-term care, and adult First Nations," would take precedence for vaccinations. "So, there's not a geographic guideline."

News of the Sudbury district vaccinations and last month's doses given in Thunder Bay are positive signs for locals vaccinations are making their way north and the local Health Unit has indicated it is waiting for confirmation on the local distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The neighbouring health units advise Ontarians remain in phase one of the provincial government's three-phase vaccine distribution implementation plan. Therefore, priority will be given to residents, staff, and essential caregivers of long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other congregate care settings for seniors. Adults in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations; and adult recipients of chronic home health care will also receive priority for early vaccinations.

With files from