The new medical officer of health for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) says they’re dealing with the same COVID-19 vaccination supply issues as the rest of the province.

Unlike other jurisdictions, the plan right now is to not cancel any of the appointments or clinics at the six mass immunization sites around the region.

“We are trying our absolute best and have made a commitment to not cancel clinics,” Dr. Natalie Bocking told the HKPRDHU Board of Health meeting Thursday morning.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreaks at Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Fenelon Court LTC; HKPR sees 55 weekend cases

“We are only offering appointments at mass immunization clinics for HKPR when we have doses that are confirmed.  There are other health units that have made plans for doses that were promised but are still tentative.  So some health units have had to go back and cancel appointments related to that.”

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The health unit is running five of the six mass immunization clinics in Cobourg, Trent Hills, Fenelon Falls, Minden and Haliburton, while Ross Memorial Hospital is operating the site at the Lindsay Exhibition Grounds.

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Dr. Bocking said shipments of Moderna vaccine have been pushed back a few weeks to the end of the month while shipments of Pfizer vaccines are getting smaller.

“We were previously receiving approximately 5,800 doses (of Pfizer vaccine) per week.  Starting next week, we are receiving closer to 3,500 doses per week,” she said.

“It contributes to pressures on both the health unit and our partners to know there’s increased demand and decreased supply.  I think in a few months it will be a different picture, but right now, we’re in an era of vaccine shortage.”

“We continue to lack supply.  As compared to other G7 nations, Canada lacks well behind in-terms of vaccine.  We know the best defence is a vaccine and getting vaccinated,” Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini told Global News on Wednesday.

“The sooner we get those vaccines in, the better.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: More pharmacies in Peterborough, HKPR district health units offering vaccine

Dr. Bocking said all long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes have received second doses, and the coverage rate among residents is 84 per cent and 88 per cent, respectively.

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30,052 vaccines have been administered in the jurisdiction as of April 12.

Despite delays and shipment issues with Moderna and Pfizer, Dr. Bocking said the number of pharmacies offering AstraZeneca vaccines has now increased to 16 in the region.

As of Thursday, there were 177 active cases of COVID-19 in the jurisdiction with 119 in Northumberland County alone.

Dr. Bocking said the positivity rate is now up to 90 per 100,000 residents, or doubled what it was 2 weeks ago.

She said the region, which was in the Yellow-Protect before the province pulled the ’emergency brake’, would now be in the Red-Control or Grey-Lockdown zone.



© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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