Frontline healthcare workers and physicians at the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) have started receiving their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of schedule.
Most CCH staff and physicians working with patients in the highest risk settings who received their first doses earlier this year will now be fully vaccinated, and increasingly protected, against the life-threatening novel coronavirus by this summer.
Timelines for second doses were moved up following authorization from the Government of Ontario that medical staff working in certain patient care settings were now eligible for shorter interval periods between doses due to increasing supply.
“This is an emotional moment for many of our frontline workers and physicians who have selflessly dedicated themselves to caring for patients infected with COVID-19, and serves as a sign of hope for the future,” said Jeanette Despatie, President and CEO of CCH.
Dr. Renee Givari, Chief of Medicine at CCH and an intensivist working on the frontlines of the pandemic in the Hospital’s Critical Care Unit, was amongst the first of CCH staff and physicians to receive her second dose on May 14th. Dr. Givari received her first dose in February.
“Being fully vaccinated not only provides the peace of mind of knowing I am best protected against getting seriously ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, but preliminary real world data also shows that in the event I do get infected with COVID-19, I would have a significantly lower viral load and be less likely to transmit the virus to others,” said Dr. Givari.
“Even if you’re young and healthy, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 means you are potentially much less likely to infect others in the community through asymptomatic transmission,” she added.
For now, CCH staff who work primarily in office settings or from home are not eligible for a shortened interval period between doses.
For more information on vaccine eligibility, or to book your vaccine, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit website at www.eohu.ca