Health-care workers in local long-term care and retirement homes along with selected hospital staff will be the first in the region to receive the new COVID-19 vaccine when doses begin to arrive over the next few days. London Health Sciences Centre and Middlesex-London Health Unit will partner on the historic vaccination program that will see the administration of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine get underway as soon as possible. The Ministry of Health announced today a total of 17 new sites across the province will soon begin providing the vaccine.
A limited number of doses of the new vaccine are expected to be administered at the Western Fair District Agriplex, the site of the Field Hospital established earlier in the pandemic, in the coming weeks. All requirements, including specialized technological infrastructure, are in place to begin administering doses of the vaccine once the initial shipment is received.
“This is an important milestone in our response to the pandemic and LHSC is delighted to play a role in this historic vaccination program. It is a true partnership which will include a strong commitment from other areas of the health system such as primary care physicians and will grow as more vaccines come available and this transforms into a mass vaccination program,” says Neil Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of London Health Sciences Centre. “As we get the program underway, each partner will draw on the experience and expertise of their teams to deliver a coordinated and effective vaccination program.”
“We are very happy to be working with LHSC to deliver this vaccine to the frontline workers who have been working so diligently to keep their residents safe as the pandemic has grown,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “This is the beginning of the next phase of our pandemic response and we will get vaccine to everyone who wants it as soon as we can. This will be a long journey, and we’re still a long way from being able to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to the public.”
The partnership will see the MLHU provide expertise on mass vaccination programs and support in determining initial priority populations, in collaboration with Southwestern Public Health and Huron-Perth Public Health, based on the current state of the pandemic in the region. LHSC is providing leadership in areas of clinical services, information technology, facilities and logistics.
Tori Laird, Communications Consultant, London Health Sciences Centre, 519-685-8500 extension 77127 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-617-0570