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Haldimand-Norfolk entering Phase 2 of vaccinations

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The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit hit the 20,000 mark in vaccinations last week as the province entered the second phase of its vaccination rollout framework on March 31.

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As it was with the first phase, Phase 2 is comprised of many smaller phases.

Currently, the health unit is vaccinating those aged 70 and older and as of April 1, vaccinations are scheduled for individuals with the highest-risk conditions and those living in the highest-risk congregate settings.

The first portion of Phase 2 is expected to take about two weeks.

After that, the health unit will begin vaccinations for those aged 65 and older, moving sequentially through groups once they are completed.

Once individuals with high-risk conditions have been vaccinated, the HNHU will offer vaccinations to essential workers who cannot work from home. It is not expected that this will take place until the middle of May.

The health unit is asking individuals to refrain from calling and booking appointments unless they have been requested to do so and they fall within a group eligible to book a vaccine. The vaccine hotline is receiving up to 1,000 calls and emails per day and the team is trying hard to return them all.

Those aged 70 to 74 with family doctors in the counties are currently being contacted for vaccine appointments. Those aged 70 to 74 who don’t have a family doctor can call the vaccine line at 519-427-5903 or email vaccine@hnhss.ca to book an appointment.

Those aged 65 to 69 (born from 1952-56) can now add their names to a wait-list for potential end-of-the-day appointments due to cancellations and no-shows. Eligible individuals will only be contacted if there are available doses at end of the day at the various clinic locations.

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Visit hnhu.org/vaccinewaitlist for the waitlist signup form.

Individuals with highest-risk health conditions should expect to be contacted by their family physician or the health unit in the coming week. If an individual with a highest-risk health condition does not have a local doctor, they may call or email the vaccine line (vaccines@hnhss.ca or 519-427-5903) to identify themselves.

Highest-risk health conditions were identified by the province’s Ministry of Health and include: organ transplant recipients, stem cell transplant recipients, patients with neurological diseases that impact respiratory function, patients with hematological malignancies diagnosed in the last year, or individuals with kidney diseases and an eGFR reading of <30.

Full details about vaccine rollout in Haldimand and Norfolk counties is available on the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit website.

As far as area vaccinations are concerned, 19,517 doses have been administered in Haldimand-Norfolk with 1,627 of those completed. That is an increase of 621 from March 30.

The health unit notes that data on vaccinations can be delayed up to 48 hours.

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