Local health units are preparing for vaccinations for children and Health Sciences North has updated its visitor policy. Photo provided by HSN and used with permission.
Algoma and Sudbury health units’ prep for vaccinating kids
Algoma Public Health and Public Health Sudbury & Districts are ready to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 as soon as it is available.
Sudbury medical officer of health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe says the news could not come at a better time since the area has been heavily impacted by the current COVID-19 surge.
She says the unit will be ready to offer the vaccine as of this Friday.
Her counterpart in Algoma, Dr. Jennifer Loo, concurs, since her jurisdiction is also seeing a surge adding the vaccine will be available next Tuesday.
Both say parents must book their appointments, which they can do through the portal whether they attend a clinic or a pharmacy.
For more details on booking your child in your respective district, visit our websites:
WEB: Children turning 5 years old by the end of 2021 (born in 2016 or earlier) are eligible to receive a two-dose series of paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a recommended interval of eight weeks.
PUBLIC HEALTH SUDBURY & DISTRICTS
Starting 8 a.m. Tuesday, November 23, 2021, appointments can be booked for children aged 5 to 11 years old through the provincial online booking system at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine and through the local call centre at 705.674.2299 (toll-free: 1.800.708.2505).
The call centre is open Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and is closed on statutory holidays.
The full COVID-19 vaccine clinic schedule will be updated and is available at phsd.ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics.
ALGOMA PUBLIC HEALTH
As of November 22, 2021, 82.5% of youth aged 12-17 in Algoma have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.3% of youth are fully vaccinated with two doses. Vaccinating children aged 5-11 will help protect children, their friends, and families in the fight against COVID-19.
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR A COMMUNITY CLINIC
If you live in Elliot Lake and area, please call the Elliot Lake Family Health Team to book an appointment at 1-705-461-8882 ext. 611.
If you live in Sault Ste. Marie and area, Central and East Algoma or north Algoma, starting Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. you can book an appointment online or by phone.
PHONE: 705-541-7370 or 1-888-440-3730. Phone lines will be open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.
ONLINE: Visit our Vaccine Clinics in Algoma <https://www.algomapublichealth.com/disease-and-illness/infectious-diseases/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine/vaccine-clinics-in-algoma/appointment-booking-eligibility/> and click on your region to make an appointment online.
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT A PARTICIPATING PHARMACY
The COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five – 11 is also available from participating pharmacies<http://www.algomapublichealth.com/pharmacy>.
Proof of vaccination at Health Sciences North
Health Sciences North originally planned to have for visitors and designated care partners show proof of vaccination early next month, but that has been moved up to today.
Hospital communication director Jason Turnbull says proof must be provided as of today to reduce the risks of transmission of COVID19.
He says as Greater Sudbury continues to be a hotspot for COVID-19 in the province with case counts continuing to rise rapidly, hospitalizations remain at the highest levels since the pandemic began.
He adds this requirement will not apply to patients stressing no individual will be denied care or service due to their vaccination status.
Turnbull says exceptions will be made for people visiting for compassionate reasons.
As of today, the hospital is reporting 28 people have been admitted for COVID19 with seven individuals in Intensive Care.
- Parents/Guardians of patients under 18 years of age;
- Designated Care partners of patients in labour and delivery;
- Designated Care partners and visitors of patients who are in a mental health crisis, have a life threatening emergency or a new life-altering or critical illness diagnoses where family presence is vital for the patient, family and or care team;
- Designated Care partners and visitors of patients who with a prognosis of 48-72 hours to live;
- Designated Care partners accompanying patients with communication, language barriers, physical or cognitive impairments;
- All visitors under the age of 12 and not yet eligible for vaccination.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated, who do not have a medical exemption and who do not meet exception criteria will not be able to visit in-person. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, continue to be required to follow our visitor guidelines when in the hospital including passing COVID-19 screening, always wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and following rules about visiting hours.