Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveries are expected to accelerate in Eastern Ontario in the second half of February.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveries are expected to accelerate in Eastern Ontario in the second half of February.

Thousands more vaccines expected in late February

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Eastern Ontario will receive no Pfizer vaccines next week, but about 3000 were expected in the week beginning on February 15.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) received a tray of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines this week, enough for up to 1100 doses. The lower than expected vaccine delivery was due to an ongoing shortage across Canada due to a factory restructure in Europe.

As of Thursday, the EOHU had administered 2527 doses of the vaccine, primarily to residents and some staff at long-term care homes in the region. EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said about 3000 doses were expected on February 15, followed by another 4000 on February 22.

“We’re in good shape to be able to react to receiving a lot of vaccines at once, which is likely what’s going to happen,” he said. “We will be getting the population-based allocation as soon as the ministry is able to predict the numbers.”

The doses were expected to go toward residents of retirement homes, as well as for the second dose for residents of long-term care homes who received their first vaccines in January. Pfizer recommended a 21 to 28 day period between the first and second dose of vaccine, but some recipients would wait for about 35 days due to the temporary shortage.

Frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable groups were expected to be next to receive the vaccine.

Outbreaks

Thirteen outbreaks were recorded at EOHU institutions, including five in Prescott and Russell. Outbreaks continued at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet, Valoris-211 Russell Road in Cheney, Rideau Place in Hawkesbury, Manoir Carillion in Chute-à-Blondeau, and Centre d'Acceuil Roger Segin in Clarence Creek. Most outbreaks had no resident cases and were confined to staff.

The region

Active cases continued to fall on Thursday, with 263 across the EOHU compared to 329 the previous day. It was the first day in 2021 with fewer than 300 active cases recorded. Thirteen new cases were reported overnight, with three in Prescott-Russell, six in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, one in Cornwall, and three in the northern portion of Akwesasne.

Twenty-three people were hospitalized across the region, though none were in intensive care. One of those people was at the Hawkesbury General Hospital, while the remainder were in Cornwall or had been transferred to Ottawa.

Of the 263 active cases in the EOHU on Thursday, 65 were in Prescott-Russell communities including;

  • 21 in Clarence-Rockland;
  • 12 in Russell;
  • 11 in Alfred-Plantagenet;
  • 11 in Hawkesbury;
  • 5 in Champlain;
  • 3 in The Nation;
  • 2 in East Hawkesbury, and;
  • 0 in Casselman.

The next EOHU media briefing is due on Monday.