Sudbury

'All out effort' underway to offer third COVID-19 vaccine doses, medical officer of health says

The medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts is urging people to get a third COVID-19 booster dose as it awaits confirmation of suspected Omicron cases in the district.

Provincial vaccine portal opened to everyone 18 and older to get vaccinated

Sudbury-Manitoulin's medical officer of health is asking people to be patient as the eligiblity for third COVID-19 vaccines is now open to everyone 18 and older who have had their second shot at least three months ago. (Erik White/CBC )

The medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts is urging people to get a third COVID-19 booster dose as it awaits confirmation of suspected Omicron cases in the district.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe said there are a number of cases suspected of being Omicron cases under investigation in the district.

On Friday, Laurentian University President Robert Haché said the school was notified of a positive case of the Omicron variant on campus on Dec. 16. The health unit said the case is still under investigation.

Sutcliffe said the cases under investigation involve people from a variety of settings in the community.

"No one specific location but throughout the community," she said.

"As expected, unfortunately we will be seeing more of this. And I would expect these cases will be confirmed."

Sutcliffe said she's not surprised that suspected Omicron cases are being investigated in the region, adding it was a matter of not if, but when the variant was confirmed in the area, considering how transmissible it is.

Sutcliffe said the best way to reduce risk is to get a third COVID-19 vaccine.

"But frankly, this just buys us time," she said.

"What I mean by that is if we can all do our utmost to reduce our contacts with others, this will buy us time to get more vaccines into arms of the important third doses to prevent severe diseases and hospitalizations."

As of today, the provincial vaccine booking system is open to those 18 and older who have had a shot at least three months ago.

Sutcliffe said with so many people eligible to book a third shot, she's asking people to be patient.

"We have redeployed as many people as possible within Public Health Sudbury and Districts to ramp up the vaccination clinics," she said.

Sutcliffe noted that family care providers and pharmacies are also offering COVID-19 vaccines.

"This really is an all out effort across the province and certainly in our area to respond to these needs," she said.

With files from Morning North

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