Next batch of COVID-19 vaccines pushed back for CK

A public health nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

It could be a little longer than expected before Chatham-Kent receives the next shipment of its COVID-19 vaccines.

During Monday night’s council meeting,¬†General Manager of Community Human Services Dr April Rietdyk, revealed that the municipality’s next allotment of vaccines has been pushed back.

Chatham-Kent’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived on January 25. According to Rietdyk, thorough planning by local health officials allowed for a smooth rollout of the shot.

“That came early morning. By [the afternoon] our teams were already out, mobilized and had begun immunizing within long-term care homes in Chatham-Kent,” she explained. “By Tuesday, we had used all of the vaccine we had received and certainly had immunized in three of our long-term care homes.”

Rietdyk said the municipality was originally expected to receive more vaccines this week. However, those plans appear to have since changed.

“It has been delayed, yet again. I don’t have a definitive date of that next allotment. What I can confirm…is that the moment we are notified that we will be in receipt of vaccine, we will be ready to move immediately,” Rietdyk said. “We are anticipating a 24-hour notice this time of vaccines arriving in Chatham-Kent.”

Long-term care residents and staff were initially the priority to get vaccinated as per provincial guidelines. Due to nation-wide shortages of the vaccine, Retidyk said the province changed the direction to include long-term care residents and high-risk retirement home residents for the first found of vaccines.

When the second shipment of vaccines do arrive locally, Rietdyk said health officials plan to complete immunization in Chatham-Kent’s long-term care homes and then move to high-risk retirement home residents.

“We have to wait for notification from the province of what that next group of individuals that we will be required to immunize [will be.]”