Frontline staff with the Dryden Regional Health Centre have received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Staff say vaccinations began on March 2 after receiving doses of the vaccine from the Northwestern Health Unit. The first doses were allocated for staff considered the highest priority under provincial guidelines, which included physicians, nurses and assessment centre staff.

“I’m very pleased that we are able to start vaccinating some of our frontline staff,” says Doreen Armstrong-Ross, Chief Executive Officer of the Dryden Regional Health Centre. “This is a very exciting development for our organization, and the community.”

While the arrival of vaccines is a step in the right direction, Armstrong-Ross reminds the community that it will still be a while before we see a ‘return to normal'.

“Vaccinating our staff is an important step, but there is still a long road ahead. We will all have to continue to do our part and follow public health guidelines such as wearing masks, physical distancing, and avoiding non-essential travel.”

At this time, staff note they don’t have any information on when more vaccines are expected to arrive in the community, but they’re prepared to work with the Northwestern Health Unit on vaccination clinics for the area whenever possible.

Seniors aged 80 or older are able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment as of March 15. Retired General Rick Hillier, who leads the vaccine’s rollout in Ontario, added that those in the other age brackets will be able to book their appointments two weeks prior to their brackets vaccination date.

April 15 - Those over the age of 75 will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
May 1 - Those over the age of 70 will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
June 1 - Those over the age of 65 will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
July 1 - Those over the age of 60 will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said that every Canadian who wants to get vaccinated will be able to by the end of September, 2021. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been in contact with a positive case, is asked to self-isolate, get tested, and remain in isolation until your test results are known.

For more information:
12 COVID-19 vaccination sites planned for NWO