Everyone in long-term, community care to get 1st dose of vaccine by Jan. 22

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says her office hopes all staff and residents in community and long-term care facilities on the Island will have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 22.

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1 year ago
Duration 7:10
'The first doses of Moderna will be going into long-term care and community care tomorrow,' Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says.

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says her office hopes all staff and residents in community and long-term care facilities on the Island will have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 22.

The province issued the first dose of vaccine to a resident in a long-term care facility on Monday. So far, all of the Island's distributed vaccine doses have been Pfizer-BioNTech, but Morrison said the first Moderna doses will be given on Friday.

"I think that will be very good news," Morrison told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin in their weekly interview.

Morrison said a total of 3,600 people will have been vaccinated by the end of the week, while some health-care workers also received their second dose this week.

Despite the Moderna vaccine arriving in the province last week, no doses have been distributed. Morrison said she does not believe this signifies a lag.

"We only have so much vaccine per week," Morrison said. "When we get it in, we want to get it into people as fast as they can."

The chief public health officer told CBC News that another shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine also arrived on the Island this week. 

Guidelines on transportation of that vaccine have also recently changed — P.E.I. had originally said all doses would be distributed from the location in which they are stored.

Who will be vaccinated and when

The Moderna vaccine doses will be distributed in three long-term and community care facilities starting Friday. 

98-year-old Art Johnston was the first long-term or community care resident on P.E.I. to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Residents of these facilities are on P.E.I.'s priority list of who will be vaccinated between the end of December and the end of March. Also included in the first quarter are: adults in Indigenous communities, congregate living facilities like group homes, truck drivers and some rotational workers, health-care workers and those over the age of 80.

Starting in April, Morrison said the vaccination focus will then shift to those over the age of 70 and other health-care and essential workers like police, firefighters and grocery store clerks.

"I'm hoping we will have enough vaccine that we will be able to do a large number of these people at once," Morrison said.

"We will be looking in more detail in the weeks ahead."

Morrison said her office is continuing to have policy discussions around what being a vaccinated individual will mean on P.E.I., including for those in long-term care or those arriving from outside the province. 

"We're looking for a little bit more information nationally on some of these questions," she said. 

"We will be making adjustments as time goes on."

Morrison said P.E.I. is aiming to have 80 per cent of the adult population vaccinated, at which time Islanders will see benefits stemming from the easing of restrictions. 

"That's why we're all so anxious in trying to achieve that," she said.

P.E.I. is keeping a registry of everyone who has been vaccinated, but the chief public health officer said they are still working on a safe, tamper-proof method for Islanders to show their record of vaccination.

"We anticipate, when people travel for instance, they may need to show that," she said, adding that the conversations are occurring with her counterparts nationally.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from CBC News: Compass


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