As a dozen hotspots across the province move to Phase 2 of Ontario's Vaccine Distribution Plan, Algoma's vaccination age cutoff remains at 70+ for now.
Starting tomorrow, April 7, these 12 communities will be able to book COVID-19 vaccines for adults aged 60+. Additionally, residents in that age group in our neighbouring health unit, Sudbury, will be able to book appointments for their vaccines.
However, this change does not apply to Algoma Public Health.
The provincial government says it will change sometime later in April, but no further details have been released.
A hotspot in Ontario is a community where there has been a high proportion of community-based deaths and where COVID-19 rates are highest.
The 12 hotspot regions include Durham, Simcoe-Muskoka, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin, Windsor-Essex, York, Toronto and Southwestern Public Health.
With 21 active cases, the Algoma region is not considered a COVID-19 hot spot. In contrast, Sudbury has 256 active cases. Although not considered an official hot spot for the virus, Nickle Belt MPP France Gélinas has been calling for Ford to declare the region a hot spot.
Comparatively, Peel Region, reported 625 new cases of COVID-19 today alone, and Toronto has 9,316 active cases.
The 60+ age change for hot spots was outlined in a Ministry of Health technical briefing held Tuesday, which reported that Ontario's vaccine rollout plan is now in Phase 2 with the province intending to vaccinate all adults aged 60 and older between now and the end of June.
After that, beginning in July, the plan is to provide vaccines to Ontario adults aged 59 and younger.
Currently, Algoma Public Health is vaccinating the following residents in Phase 1 of the distribution plan:
- Algoma residents age 70+
- Healthcare workers (Highest, Very High, High, and Moderate Categories as per Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers)
- Faith leaders who provide:
- End of life care
- Care of the deceased, funerals, bathing, or other ceremony with direct contact with deceased persons
- Home visits to unwell persons
- Pastoral care in hospitals/long-term care homes/retirement homes or other vulnerable settings
- Staff and essential caregivers in long term care, retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors (e.g. assisted living)
- Indigenous adults (18+ and household members)
- Older adults (70 and older)
- Adult chronic home care recipients