The federal government launched the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on December 14th, marking the beginning of Canada’s largest mass immunization campaign in history. While the arrival of the vaccine is a welcomed sign, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is urging residents to maintain public health measures as the pandemic is not over yet.
Due to a limited supply of vaccines, the first phase of the Ontario government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign will prioritize individuals belonging to one of the following groups, as they are either at higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19, or at higher risk of developing a severe illness or dying from COVID:
- Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings, such as long-term care homes and retirement homes
- Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel
- Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where risk of transmission is high
- Adult recipients of chronic home health care
Individuals who do not fall in one of the categories mentioned above are expected to start receiving their vaccines at a later phase of the vaccination program. The EOHU will notify the public as the vaccine becomes available to different population groups.
COVID pandemic not over yet
“While the arrival of the vaccine in Canada is a promising sign for the future, the reality is that the majority of Canadians will not have received their vaccine until the second half of 2021,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “In the meantime, I am urging residents to maintain public health measures like masking, physical distancing and proper hand washing to avoid spikes in our communities, keep our schools open and protect our local businesses.”
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s website at www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus.