Windsor-Essex First in the Province to Vaccinate all Long Term Care Homes

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is calling it a huge accomplishment.

CEO Theresa Marentette has announced all long term care homes in the region have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She says residents, staff and essential caregivers from 19 homes have received the first dose of the vaccine.

"We did create a schedule and the long term care homes, we worked very closely with them to adhere to the schedule and really support them and getting this rolled out," she says.    

Marentette says the health unit will circle back to the homes for a resident, staff member or an essential caregiver still needing the vaccine.

"There are still outstanding people based on the fact that they have to recover before they can get vaccinated," says Marentette.  "So we're working with the homes, we continue to work with them and support them but it is a huge accomplishment and it feels, it's a great start for our community and for those that have been impacted by COVID."        

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says Windsor-Essex has been one of the hardest hit regions in the province with COVID cases.

"We are really happy to report that we are able to complete the vaccination, first round vaccination for all the long term care homes in our region and we are the first health unit to complete all that in the province," says Dr. Ahmed.     

The health unit received the Moderna vaccine on December 30 and started to administer it at long term care homes a couple of days after its arrival.

The original plan had vaccinations beginning on January 4.

Residents, staff and essential caregivers can receive their second dose of the vaccine, 28 days after receiving the first dose.

There are 44 long term care and retirement homes in Windsor-Essex.

Marentette says the focus now shifts to area retirement homes.