PEI

Islanders 80 and older can call for COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Thursday

Starting Thursday, anyone on P.E.I. 80 years of age or older can phone a hotline to make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Heather Morrison said Wednesday.

No new cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I., and only 2 cases still active

Dr. Heather Morrison and Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, update Islanders on the COVID-19 situation Wednesday. (CBC)

Starting Thursday, the 5,500 or so people aged 80 or older on P.E.I. can make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Heather Morrison said Wednesday.

Vaccine clinics are set to begin on Feb. 22 in O'Leary, Summerside, Charlottetown and Montague.  Appointments can be made by calling 1-844-975-3303, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Morrison, the Island's chief public health officer, was giving her regular COVID-19 briefing one day late due to Tuesday's storm.

Morrison and Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, said planning is also underway for the next phase of vaccine rollout for rotational workers, truck drivers, people living in congregate settings, Indigenous adults, and partners in care.

Dowling asked those 80 and older calling for an appointment to "please be patient."

"We know there will be some Islanders of those thousands that will be calling us who are really anxious to get your appointment but we are just getting started."

Rotational workers and truck drivers registered with the Chief Public Health Office will be contacted to make a vaccination appointment. 

After a one-week gap, P.E.I. received a regular shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday despite the storm, Morrison said.

The province will get 500 fewer Moderna doses than expected in its next shipment, but Morrison said that will not affect the goal to vaccinate all long-term care staff and residents on P.E.I. by Feb. 16.

There is one exception to that: Residents of Le Chez-Nous, who had to move to the Mill River Resort because of a January fire at the Wellington community care home, are expected to receive their vaccinations by the end of February.

2,568 have received both doses

As of Saturday, 5,288 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,568 have received both doses.

Morrison said the goal of vaccinating all Islanders by fall is still on track.

"We recognize that our march toward immunizing all residents is slow and steady and when we hit bumps in the road we will need to keep going and we will need to adjust."

Morrison said there are no new cases of COVID-19 to report on the Island at this time, and only two of the previous cases remain active.

The new coronavirus variants being reported around the world and elsewhere in Canada remain an ongoing concern to Morrison. None of the variants has been detected among the lab-examined P.E.I. samples, she said. 

Prince Edward Island has had 112 known cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There have been no hospitalizations or deaths on the Island so far. 

Travel off P.E.I. discouraged

With March break approaching, Morrison reiterated her recommendation to avoid non-essential travel outside P.E.I. Anyone who travels outside the country will have to spend up to three days in a federal government-approved hotel awaiting their test results, and Morrison said they will still have to self-isolate for another 14 days when they arrive on P.E.I.

Since the pandemic began last March, the province has laid 96 charges for failing to self-isolate or obstructing a public health order. Morrison said 765 random self-isolation checks have been completed since mid-December.

Reminder about symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • New or worsening fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Runny nose.

More from CBC P.E.I.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said two new cases Monday brought the total since March 2020 to 113. The case total as of Feb. 1 was actually 112.
    Feb 03, 2021 4:04 PM AT

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