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Media Releases: Appointment Booking for Individuals 80+ to Open March 15

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/March 10, 2021

As Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) continues to offer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible groups, all residents are asked for patience and cooperation to help ensure local vaccination clinics can operate efficiently and effectively. Vaccine is being prioritized for individuals at greatest risk from COVID-19.

Appointment Bookings for 80+ to Open on March 15

On Monday, March 15, Ontario’s booking system will launch and begin to accept bookings for individuals aged 80 and older. The provincial system will provide the capacity needed to accept bookings from a large volume of individuals at once. Provincial booking information – including a website and phone number will be added to the vaccine page on our website and distributed publicly on March 15. Please do NOT contact HPEPH to inquire about booking or eligibility before that time as you will be unable to book into the provincial system until March 15.

Highest/ Very High Priority Health Care Vaccination Clinics Will Continue at QHC

We are working in partnership with Quinte Health Care (QHC) and other health care partners to deliver the vaccine to priority groups. Highest/Very High Priority health care workers are invited through their employer/workplace or can book directly on the QHC vaccination booking page.

PLEASE NOTE: Vaccinations are NOT being offered at COVID-19 Testing Sites. Please confirm the appropriate location when booking your appointment.

Register to Receive Eligibility Notification

If you are not yet eligible, please be patient. You won’t be missed! The recent provincial decision to accept National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommendations to extend the interval between vaccine doses to up to 16 weeks will allow HPEPH to begin reaching out to Phase 2 priority groups beginning in April.

The following groups are encouraged to register to receive notification from HPEPH when they become eligible:

How You Can Help

Over the past several months, HPEPH staff have been working with health care partners 7 days a week to implement the Province’s COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan in our region. Please help us help you. Continue to practice COVID-19 protocols, distance from those outside your household, wear a face covering when you are unable to physical distance, and stay home and get tested if you feel ill.

If you are not yet eligible and have questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, you are encouraged to seek advice from your primary care provider. HPEPH is unable to offer personalized health advice unique to your situation.

Effective use of public health resources is critical to the success of the vaccination roll out in our region. In order to respond to all aspects of the pandemic, HPEPH staff have been redeployed to a variety of critical areas including case and contact management, front line vaccine clinics, and other essential programs. We need your help to ensure phone lines and customer service capacity is reserved for those who are currently eligible and who require assistance booking their appointment. Please do not call HPEPH if you are not in one of the groups eligible for vaccination at this time.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including groups that are currently eligible in our region, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines/

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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.

Backgrounder – Phase 2 Priority Health Conditions

The Province of Ontario has identified several health conditions that have the potential to increase an individual’s risk of complications related to COVID-19. Individuals with these conditions will be prioritized as part of HPEPH’s Phase 2 roll out. Risk level as identified by the province is outlined below.

Highest Risk:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30

High Risk:

  • Obesity (BMI over 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (for example, chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (for example, Down Syndrome)

At-Risk:

  • Immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders
  • Stroke and cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • All other cancers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Spleen problems
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension with end organ damage
  • Diagnosed mental disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Thalassemia
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunocompromising health conditions
  • Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community

Please note, if more than one of the above criteria applies to you (e.g. you are a 75 year old living with diabetes), you are asked to register on all lists that apply.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

HPEPH is currently offering vaccine to eligible groups. In order to keep our phone lines free for those who are currently eligible, please do NOT contact us to inquire about vaccinations unless you have been invited to participate.

Groups Currently Eligible to Book at Ontario.ca/bookvaccine:

  • Individuals turning 50 and over in 2021
  • Health care or personal support workers
  • Childcare workers (licensed & unlicensed)
  • Education workers (including special education)
  • Residents and staff in care homes and group living settings (including essential caregivers)
  • People with highest-risk health conditions and their caregivers (for example, pregnancy, organ transplant, multiple sclerosis)
  • People with high risk health conditions and their caregivers (for example, BMI of over 40, chemotherapy, Down syndrome)
  • People with at-risk health conditions (for example, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes)
  • Chronic home health care recipients
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, including members of their household
  • People who cannot work from home (Group One and Group Two)

Groups Eligible to Book at Pharmacies:

Groups Eligible to Pre-Register

For booking information for eligible individuals, please visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines/

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

A province-wide Stay-at-Home order is in effect, and requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely. Please avoid close contact with anyone outside your household. 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 14 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.