Lambton won’t see vaccine until end of January at the earliest

Kristine Wook Photo

Decision made before case numbers started to soar

Heather Wright/ The Independent

The phones at Bob Bailey’s Sarnia-Lambton constituency office are ringing off the hook and the question on everyone’s lips seems to be “Where is the vaccine?”

As the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Lambton soars and the province begins to roll out the recently approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Bailey says people are questioning when it will arrive in Lambton.

The answer – at least the last answer the MPP had – is late January.

Bailey issued a news release Tuesday, hoping to clarify people’s questions.

Bailey says people “watch the TV and the media and, hey, I’m concerned, too. So I can understand how you have a loved one in the (long term care) home, you know, maybe a senior spouse, or a grandparent you’re wanting to know, you know, where is this vaccine?”

The first of the vaccines were given to staff at hospitals and long term care in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor before Christmas. Some of the vaccines have also made it to centers like London. But the Conservative government has faced criticism for the slow roll out of the vaccination program, particularly after the government stopped putting needles in arms during the Christmas and New Years’ statutory holidays.

Doctors across the province took to social media offering to be part of a vaccination team and urging the province to get the vials of valuable vaccine out of the deep freezer and into arms.

As of Tuesday; 148,350 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been received, and about 48,000 of the Pfizer vaccine have been used.

There is also concern, particularly in Lambton, where the first vaccines will go.

Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s medical officer of health, expressed concern that Lambton is not among the first to receive the vaccine even though we now have among the highest case rate per 100,000 in the province.

Bailey shares the frustration noting the province has committed to vaccinating all the people in long term care in Toronto, Peel and Windsor Essex by Jan. 21.

Lambton, he says, should be in the second phase, but it is not clear when that will occur and how quickly the shipments will arrive.

Public health and Bluewater Health have a vaccination plan in place and Ranade says once the vaccine arrives, they will be administered “very, very quickly.”