Ontario Independent

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ontario has issued a ‘call to arms’ for volunteers to assist in the vaccination effort

Ontario issues a "call to arms" for volunteers to assist in increasing vaccination

Key takeaways:

  • The Ontario government is appealing to firefighters, dentists, retired doctors and nurses, and anyone else who can speed up the third-dose vaccine campaign as COVID-19 infections rise.

As COVID-19 infections rise, the Ontario government is appealing to firefighters, dentists, retired doctors and nurses, and anyone else who can help speed up the third-dose vaccine campaign.

The government is asking “businesses, volunteers, and retired health professionals to help further boost capacity and get more boosters into arms sooner,” according to a “call to arms” issued by Premier Doug Ford’s office on Wednesday.

As the province tries to distribute as many booster shots as possible to help curb the spread of the more contagious Omicron variant, Ontario health officials have stated that they would like to reach 300,000 doses per day.

Also read: Due to Alberta’s new restrictions, crowd at world junior games has dropped by half

Omicron, the COVID-19 virus’s most contagious iteration to date, has been driving up case counts in Ontario and other jurisdictions worldwide. On Wednesday, the province reported nearly 4,400 cases, and some infectious disease experts predict that 10,000 cases will be reported daily.

Ontario has been scrambling to increase its vaccine distribution capacity once more, with some success. Over the previous seven days, the province has distributed an average of 164,000 doses per day. This is a significant increase from the previous seven days when only around 80,000 doses were distributed per day on average.

While daily doses have surpassed 200,000 for the past two days, it is unclear how quickly the province will be able to meet its goal.

Although the province has all the vaccines it requires, many vaccination sites are restricted by staffing hours. Some businesses are also planning to close or operate with fewer hours during the holidays.

Ontario issues a "call to arms" for volunteers to assist in increasing vaccination
Ontario issues a “call to arms” for volunteers to assist in increasing vaccination. Image from The new York times.

Premier Doug Ford said in a statement released Wednesday that “our best defense against the highly transmissible Omicron variant is a lightning-fast offense.” “Ontario has scaled up its vaccine rollout at incredible speed in just a few weeks, but we’re not stopping there.” Everybody has a job to do. It’s all hands on deck as we work to boost Ontario’s economy.”

Regulatory changes will allow retired nurses and physicians, dentists, and firefighters to administer vaccines at vaccination sites if they are supervised by a physician, registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or pharmacist present at the vaccination site.

Volunteers from those organizations are encouraged to sign up for the Health Workforce Matching Portal. Those who have already done so are asked to log in and update their availability.

According to Ford’s office, volunteers will have access to appropriate education and training.

So far, 2.3 million Ontarians have received booster shots, but many others have found scheduling an appointment difficult.

On Monday, the provincial booking system opened to all those aged 18 and up, but in many jurisdictions, all appointments were snatched up within hours. Pop-up clinics have reported long lines, and many people have said they’ve had trouble getting an appointment at pharmacies.

Source: CP24 News

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