KAWARTHA LAKES-Our local Coronavirus vaccination rate is in line with the provincial average which is an amazing achievement given that the HKPR region had been receiving the lowest vaccine allocation per capita in the province for a time according to Dr Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health, Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit. (HKPR)
“In the first half of May, the Province did redirect more COVID-19 vaccines to hot-spot regions in order to get more people vaccinated there.” Dr Bocking says. “This made sense, in light of the higher number of cases and wider community spread in these regions. With increasing supplies of vaccine in May, the local Health Unit has been receiving its fair share of vaccine and has been able to provide a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to more than half of our residents.”
To date 74,661 vaccines have been administered in the HKPR region with 68,940 receiving one dose and 5,721 having received two doses.
Dr Bocking says our vaccine supply is expected to increase into June, as Canada receives more doses of the Pfizer vaccine in coming weeks. In early June she expects we will receive approximately 9,300 doses per week of Pfizer vaccine, as well as quantities of the Moderna vaccine.
“However, there is still a mismatch in terms of the number of people wanting a vaccine and the amount of supply that is available.” Dr Bocking explains, “Even as our vaccine supplies have increased, the number of people eligible for a dose has also expanded at a quicker pace. Some people are also requiring second doses, so vaccines have to be directed there too.”
The Health Unit is running mobile vaccination clinics in congregate settings and other places where it is difficult for residents to get out to clinics for the vaccine. Local paramedics/EMS have also been providing COVID-19 vaccines to housebound residents over the past few weeks according to Dr Bocking. Some primary care providers and select pharmacies are also offering COVID-19 vaccines.
“Every effort is being made to get COVID-19 vaccines into arms as quickly as possible. We are asking local residents to be patient. As more vaccine supplies arrive in our region, more clinic appointments will be made available at the Health Unit’s mass immunization clinics in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. If you can’t book an appointment right away through the provincial booking system (online at www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine or toll-free at 1-888-999-6488), please check back as the Health unit is adding more appointments very soon.”
Dr Bocking says eventually vaccine supply will meet local demand.
“Rest assured, everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one.”