As we approach the one-year mark of the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Canada, I want to take a moment to review how far we’ve come, as well as outline the work we have ahead to ensure that everyone has access to a free COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
First, however, I want to thank KFL&A Public Health and all of our frontline workers. We know it has been challenging and difficult to navigate at times, but the resiliency of our community has been truly inspiring. We are fortunate to have been designated a green zone as of February 10th and we will continue to work together to keep everyone safe.
At Work in Parliament
In our Fall Economic Statement, the federal government shared how it plans to continue to fight COVID-19, support Canadians throughout the pandemic, and work towards a recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and creates good jobs for Canadians. Parliament will vote on the Fall Economic Statement in the coming weeks.
Our Top Priority
The federal government’s top priority is to vaccinate Canadians by the end of September 2021. Rest assured that Canada is still on track to meet this goal. This is the biggest immunization campaign in the history of our country. On December 14th, 2020, the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Canada. To date, 1,586,009 Canadians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. You can track Canada’s progress here.
So How Does the Vaccine Rollout Work?
The federal government is responsible for procuring vaccines. The provinces are responsible for the administration and rollout of the vaccines, and local health authorities are responsible for getting the vaccine in the arms of community members.
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) works with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to procure vaccines. To date, 2,437,464 vaccines have been distributed in Canada.
Doses of the vaccines are distributed in Canada in phases. This distribution began in December 2020.
Ontario has a three-phase distribution plan, with a timeline for when Ontarians can expect to be vaccinated
Phase 1: December 2020 – March 2021: focuses on high-risk populations, including long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes, health care settings, and moving next to 80+ population
Phase 2: April – July 2021: Approximately 8.7 million people from the following groups will receive vaccines: older adults, beginning with those 79 years of age and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout
Phase 3: from August 2021 and beyond: focuses on remaining Ontarians in the general population who wish to be vaccinated
KFL&A Public Health Unit
Locally, the goal is to vaccinate all residents who want and can have the COVID-19 vaccine by early August 2021.
Vaccines clinic sites will include the Invista Centre, Kingston Community Health Centre, Strathcona Paper Centre Napanee, Rural Remote Family Health Team, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and Targeted Mobile clinic.
Our local Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, says vaccine supply will increase mid-March and that our mass immunization strategy is robust.
Stay the Course
Until everyone is safe from this virus, we must remain diligent: we have proven we can flatten the curve with physical distancing, washing our hands, wearing masks, and using the COVID Alert app. Please continue to follow the guidance of our public health officials so that our community and economy can recover from the challenges of this global pandemic.
If you have questions or need assistance, my constituency office remains open to in-person visits, though we encourage you to book an appointment. Please email or call my team at [email protected] or 613-542-3243.
From my family to yours, please keep safe and remain well.
Mark Gerretsen, MP Kingston and the Islands
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