LONDON, ONT. – “Yesterday we were in one of the Chartwell homes, Chelsey Park, where we vaccinated 250 residents of the home and a few employees,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Chief Medical Officer of MLHU.
It’s part of a provincial government mandate set Wednesday with a target of 8.5 million people vaccinated in Phase 2. Older people will be a top priority as they are the most vulnerable part of the population.
“Nursing home residents are the ones at greatest risk of death,” says Mackie. “Getting the vaccine as close to them as possible will do more than anything to lower our mortality rates across the province.”
Steve McCaw of OPSEU Local 106 says some of its members, who include lab x-ray technicians and respiratory therapists, are frustrated.
“The focus on long-term care makes sense. I think the problem is they had to believe that they would get it sooner than they would actually get it now.”
Mackie said during Thursday’s news conference he values the willingness to get vaccinated and wants as many frontline workers to be done as quickly as possible, but the focus now needs to be on the nursing homes to serve as many lives as possible to save. He also announced which houses the health unit will visit in the next few days.
“We’re going to be at Strathmere Lodge in Middlesex County, we’re going to be at Earls Court Village here in London too.”
The province’s vaccination plan calls for frontline workers and first responders to follow the residents of long-term care alongside workers, teachers and construction workers in the food industry.
No official timetable has been given as to when this will happen.