UPDATED: Lambton long term residents start getting COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday

David Schludi Photo

Only long term care residents to get vaccine, not workers or caregivers

Lambton Public Health says 500 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in the county and long term care residents will start getting them Tuesday.

Provincial officials laid out a new plan for vaccinating seniors today as the drug supply dwindles.

Pfizer has stopped some shipments of its vaccine to Canada as it retools its plant in Europe to increase production. Ontario won’t receive any doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week.

Even before Pfizer announced it would cutback deliveries to Canada, Lambton politicians voiced concern this community continues to wait for its first doses of the vaccine while other communities, with fewer cases per 100,000 of people are completing their vaccination in long term care. The rollout of vaccines was developed based on COVID-19 case counts in Ontario in early December. The number of cases exploded in Lambton in mid-December, making the community a COVID hot spot rivaling Windsor and Metro Toronto.

Today, public health officials in Toronto said the 14 public health units – including Lambton – who have not received any vaccine will be getting the Moderna vaccine instead. Public Health issued a news release Monday afternoon saying the vaccines had arrived and would be going into arms Tuesday.

It’s not immediately clear how many long term care residents there are in Lambton County and if they all can be vaccinated right away.

The province says to deal with the short supply, only long term care residents will now get the vaccine by the first week of February. Until now, their caregivers and personal support workers in long term care were also receiving the vaccine.

Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey reiterates just the estimated 1,000 people in long term care in Lambton will receive the first round of vaccines “not retirement homes and not seniors living on their own.”

Bailey says long term care residents are the most vulnerable because they are “more or less captive” and unable to control who enters their home.

He adds the province is changing the guidelines to the vaccine “to try to stretch it as far as they can.”