Vaccinations begin for high-risk hospital workers

Fred Osmon, 63, a frontline Emergency Department nurse, receives the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine at a Bluewater Health staff clinic that began today. Bluewater Health Photo

Journal Staff

Bluewater Health opened a COVID-19 vaccination clinic today and began giving doses of the Pfizer vaccine to its high-risk frontline workers.

The clinic is expected to run over the next four or five days and until the supply runs out, the hospital said.

Bluewater Health has more than 2,000 staff, physicians, midwives, specialists and other high-risk workers.

Additional vaccines are expected to arrive next week for high priority staff. Health-care workers are prioritized based on their risk of exposure, patient populations served, and incidence of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Bluewater Health employees that do not interact with patients are not scheduled to receive vaccines at this time, the hospital said.

The first staff member to get a shot today was Fred Osmon, 63, a frontline Emergency Department nurse who works at both the Sarnia and Petrolia hospital locations.

“I’m honoured to have this opportunity. It’s a start to keeping my family, my colleagues, and my community safe,” he said.

“The pandemic has been a significant strain on all health-care workers, and I know that we are excited to see the vaccines rolling out here. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Sarnia-Lambton was one of the last communities to receive the vaccines and all available appointments were booked within 48 hours, the hospital said.

Future updates about immunizations for the general public will be made available via Lambton Public Health’s website: at GetTheVaccine.ca

The first round of 1,158 vaccine doses locally were given to residents of long-term care and other high-risk senior homes.

Lambton Public Health reported nine new cases in Sarnia-Lambton today.

The 94 active cases is four fewer than Monday, but more than double the 43 active cases reported just two weeks ago.

On Monday, Sarnia-Lambton was moved to the red “control” zone, just one zone up from ‘Lockdown,’ with 60 active cases per 100,000 people.