Health unit looking to register community health care workers for vaccine

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

Health care workers outside of hospitals and long-term care settings will soon have the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is asking community health care providers and organizations to register on its website to provide information about employees who would like to be vaccinated.

“We’ll use the data collected from the registration platform to send a more detailed survey to verified health care sectors and settings, partners, to assess the risk level per provincial guidance,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed.

Health care employees working in congregate settings, community care facilities like obstetrics offices and dental practices, and walk-in clinics will all be considered in this next stage of vaccine distribution. The full provincial guidance document can be seen here.

“Only organizations with health care workers in the highest and very high priority will be considered for vaccination at this time until the vaccine supply becomes more reliable,” said Dr. Ahmed.

Members of this group will start receiving their first dose of the vaccine as early as next week. Dr. Ahmed estimates there will be around 5,000-6,000 health care workers in this group.

The health unit continues to finalize plans for seniors in the community over the age of 80.

“The province has not provided a system yet so our team has been scrambling to make sure that we have a system in place to get information from all of these eligible seniors and to provide an equity based approach,” said Dr. Ahmed.

He says they need a system of online registration as well as a call in centre for this population. Ahmed said they also require a location that will keep this population from congregating and interacting with multiple people as they receive their shots.  Dr. Ahmed expects to have all of these details finalized within the next couple of days.

To date, 11,491 Windsor Essex residents have been fully vaccinated.