All residents of Island long-term care facilities receive COVID vaccines

Howie Lauber, president of the Manitoulin Lodge resident advisory council, received the first COVID-19 vaccine jab at the Gore Bay long-term care facility on Sunday, February 7.

MANITOULIN – As of Monday, February 8, residents of Manitoulin Lodge and Wikwemikong Nursing Home have both received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations. Residents of Manitoulin Centennial Manor received their first shot on, Tuesday, February 9.

“At this time, I am pleased to report that the vaccine clinic took place for residents on Sunday, February 7,” Stephanie Barber, community relations co-ordinator for Jarlette Health Services, the company that operates Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay, told The Expositor. 

President of the Lodge’s resident council, Howie Lauber, was the first resident to receive his vaccine and stated, “I was very happy to receive the shot. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of relaxing the visitor restrictions and we will be able to get out and visit again. I was honoured to be the first one. Thank you.”

As was reported previously, staff and residents of Wikwemikong Nursing Home received their first doses of the Moderna vaccine on January 13 and residents and staff there are expected to receive their booster shot of the vaccine this week. 

Due to provincial shortages, only residents at Manitoulin Lodge and Centennial Manor will be receiving the vaccine this week and it is expected that all long-term care (LTC) residents in Ontario will have received at least the initial dose by today, February 10. While that date was originally touted to be February 5, Ontario’s allocation of the Moderna vaccine was significantly reduced by 18,200 doses to 63,400 doses. Staff at the Little Current and Gore Bay facilities will have to wait until the vaccine supplies are adequate.

“At this time, we continue to work closely with our partners at long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and elders’ care lodges within our service area to complete first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination for all residents by February 10,” a member of Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD)’s communications team to The Expositor.

The province is expecting approximately 310,000 more doses to be delivered in the remaining weeks of February, according to a press release from the province. “Once sufficient doses are available, vaccinations will resume to provide first doses for staff and essential caregivers in settings with the most vulnerable populations.”

As of February 1, over 344,000 vaccine doses have been administered across the province, including over 91,000 doses administered to LTC staff and retirement home staff, over 138,000 doses administered to health care workers and over 90,000 doses administered to LTC and retirement home residents.