Sarnia-Lambton is getting another 8,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, but most residents won’t get a shot for at least several months.
A first shipment of 3,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Sarnia on Monday and is being given to high-priority health-care staff, Lambton Public Health says.
An additional 3,500 Pfizer doses are expected next week.
As well, another 1,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected this week. They will be used to provide second shots for residents of long-term and high-risk retirement homes, the health unit said.
As of Wednesday, just over 1,500 local residents had received a first dose.
But residents looking to book an appointment will need to be patient, Lambton’s medical officer of health cautions.
“I want to get there as soon as we can, but I think it’s going to be a few months,” Dr. Sudit Ranade said in a media call Wednesday.
Ontario says vaccinations will begin for people 80 years and older by the third week of March. The province’s rollout schedule also calls for:
April 15: vaccinations begin for people 75 and older.
May 1: vaccinations begin for people 70 and older.
June 1: vaccinations begin for people 65 and older.
July 1: vaccinations begin for people 60 and older.
Ranade said the process could speed up if more vaccines are approved by Health Canada. In addition to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, four others are under review in Canada.
Fixed immunization clinics are set to open next week in Point Edward, Wyoming and Forest. They will begin with high-priority groups, by invitation only, including long-term care and retirement home staff and essential caregivers.
Details on when local clinics will open to other groups and the booking process are not yet available.
A Mobile Immunization Team began vaccinating the remaining retirement home residents in Sarnia-Lambton on Tuesday.
High-risk staff and doctors at Bluewater Health also began getting shots this week.
Health-care workers are prioritized based on their risk of exposure, patient populations served, and incidence of COVID-19 outbreaks.
About 600,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots had been administered in Ontario as of Wednesday.
Ranade said no virus variants of concern have been detected in the local population, though that could change at any time.
“To date there’s no real evidence that suggests that they cause more severe disease,” he said.