COVID-19 vaccinations begin at hard-hit Oxford long-term care homes

Article content continued

PeopleCare said in a statement that 40 of its residents received the vaccination Tuesday.

About 300 doses are expected to be administered in the region this week, public health said Monday.

There are 1,378 long-term care residents and about 500 retirement home residents in the region, according to Southwestern public health.

Vaccines are only provided to people who have not contracted COVID-19, given that people “who have tested positive for COVID-19 will have a level of natural immunity upon recovery,” health officials said.

The health unit aims to have vaccines administered to all long-term care and retirement home staff and residents by mid-February.

On Wednesday, Mark Dager, director of long-term care for Oxford County, said 126 residents at Woodingford Lodge Woodstock would receive the first dose of the vaccine that day. The home was chosen because it has a small outbreak with two residents and two staff infected with the virus.

Ben Addley, chief of Oxford County’s paramedics, said Wednesday his staff have been instrumental in administering the vaccine in long-term care homes, despite their ineligibility to receive the vaccine themselves.