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Media Release: Patience and Cooperation Critical to Ensure Success of Vaccine Rollout

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/March 2, 2021 – As Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) continues efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to eligible groups, all residents are asked for patience and cooperation to help ensure local vaccination clinics are as efficient and effective as possible.

Over the past several months, HPEPH staff have been working diligently with health care partners to implement the Province’s COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan in our region. Residents are asked to take a few key steps in order to ensure public health resources are used as effectively as possible during this critical time.

Avoid contacting HPEPH to inquire when you will become eligible.

Effective use of public health resources is critical to the success of the vaccination rollout in our region. Phone lines and customer service capacity must be reserved for those who are currently eligible and who require assistance booking their appointment. Groups that are currently eligible are listed at hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines/, and include:

  • Residents, staff and essential caregivers in long term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes.
  • Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors.
  • Highest Priority health care workers and Very High Priority health care workers who provide more direct, in person patient care, have higher likelihood of engaging in higher exposure risk procedures, and provide urgent and critical, services that cannot be delayed or deferred.
  • Indigenous adults in northern remote and higher risk communities (including on-reserve and urban communities).
  • Individuals who have been contacted directly by the Province of Ontario or their health care provider to participate in pilot booking and vaccination projects being offered by HPEPH*.

    *Please note – due to capacity limitations it is not possible for individuals to self-refer or to register to participate in these pilot projects. If you have not been contacted by HPEPH to participate in the pilot, please remain patient and wait for public announcements which will let you know when you are eligible to book an appointment

Register to receive notifications about age-based eligibility.

HPEPH recognizes that many older individuals are eager to receive vaccine once age-based availability begins. While open clinics for age-based availability are not currently available, HPEPH plans to begin to offer vaccines to individuals over 80+ beginning mid-March, and will continue to offer clinics for age-based availability in descending order throughout the spring. It is expected that age-based vaccination will begin while the very high priority group of healthcare workers is completed. While there is currently no waitlist for the vaccine, individuals can register to receive notification when age-based vaccinations become available, by providing their contact information on our Vaccine Eligibility Notification Form.

If you are eligible, book online, and arrive on time.

Individuals who are eligible to book an appointment at this time are asked to book online using the link that you have been provided. This will help ensure our customer service phone line is available to those who need it most. If you are unable to book online yourself, enlist a caregiver or family member to assist you. If none of these options are possible, at that time we invite you to contact HPEPH for assistance. If you do not receive an appointment confirmation after you have completed booking, please be sure to check your junk mail folder before calling our customer service line.

If you have successfully booked an appointment with HPEPH, please plan to arrive with time to spare, but do not line up at the clinic site any more than 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Lining up too early creates unnecessary congregating of individuals and makes it more difficult to physically distance.

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Media contacts

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca

 About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first dose, or those who meet the minimum second dose interval are now eligible to attend HPEPH walk-in clinics. To view the schedule, visit the Booking and Eligibility Page.

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at covid19.ontariohealth.ca.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

On Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moved to Step 3  of the the Roadmap to Reopen. We must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people in Step 3, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.