On Tues. Jan. 12, the first long-term care workers in the southeast region received theirPicture of needle being injected in medicine vial first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), and mobile clinics in care homes began on Jan. 17. As of right now, KHSC is the only Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dispenser in the region. Since Jan. 25, the Moderna vaccine has been received by hospitals for use by the mobile vaccination programs of the public health agencies throughout southeastern Ontario.

Because the demand for COVID-19 vaccines will initially exceed available supply, the Province has set priorities for voluntary vaccination. 

Individuals in long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes have been identified as the first priority group, and they will be the initial focus for COVID-19 vaccination. By vaccinating and protecting people in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes, the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths in these vulnerable settings will be decreased.

“This signals brighter days ahead,” says Dr. David Pichora, KHSC’s president and CEO. “It also represents the tremendous amount of collaboration – among health-care partners including all three public health agencies in the region – that has made it possible to be ready to deliver a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine to the prioritized group in southeastern Ontario.”

SEAMO physician Dr. Gerald Evans, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at KHSC, also says things like mask wearing, physical distancing and frequent hand washing will still need to be in effect because not everyone in the southeast region will be vaccinated at the same time. 

You are encouraged to visit this website for further information about Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program if you have any questions.