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Health Unit says more essential workers will be vaccinated soon

'Staff at areas such as the local jails should be receiving vaccinations within two weeks as well'
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North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. Photo by Stu Campaigne/BayToday

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says essential workers such as those who are teaching in area schools along with jail workers can expect to receive their first vaccinations within the next two weeks. 

That's according to Andrea McLellan, Director COVID-19 Immunization Strategy with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

"Teachers fall under the essential worker's category of phase two so we will be planning for that rollout in the near future," explained McLellan during Thursday's weekly online press conference.  

"There was an announcement made that special education teachers in the hot spots initially will have access to vaccination and it will roll out from there.

"Staff at areas such as the local jails should be receiving vaccinations within two weeks as well."

That is encouraging news for teachers and school support staff on the same day one new COVID-19 case has been linked to Silver Birches elementary school in the West Ferris area of North Bay.   

Overall, McLellan says 20.8 per cent of the adult population over 18 in the district have received at least one vaccination.  

Pharmacies in North Bay, Sturgeon Falls, and Parry Sound will continue to offer AstraZeneca for those 55 years of age or older.   McLellan does not have any numbers to share as to how much or when they will be receiving more of that vaccine as that is the responsibility of each pharmacy to manage the vaccine allotment.  

McLellan says clinics have been an overwhelming success across the district and she believes the vaccine rollout has truly been a community effort.  

She believes the Easter weekend clinics were a success. 

"At the ministries direction, the clinic's across the province were opened up to individuals 70 years of age and older last week and we have had a great response to this," she said. 

" All of the vaccine clinics this past weekend were fully booked. This week we continue to move forward with vaccine rollout as individuals born in or before 1961 are now eligible to book an appointment for their vaccine.  

"As more and more groups are added to the rollout we continue to advocate with the province for greater access to COVID-19 vaccines.  Our clinics are filling up very quickly and we continue to add more of them as we are provided with vaccine allocation information."

McLellan says they are already in the planning stages of adding primary care health providers such as doctor's offices, as another means to administer vaccinations in the district.  

"We have reached out to a number of our primary health care providers to determine their level of interest in participating in receiving vaccines to administer within their practices so as vaccines become available we will be rolling it out to some of those practices based on the amount of vaccine that we receive," she said. 

McLellan believes when the area has enough vaccines that they will be able to administer 3,000 to 5,000 per day depending on the supply in the region. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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