In a continuing effort to provide timely and relevant information to Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, below is a summary of the most recent information currently available about the distribution of vaccines in Niagara-on-the-Lake and throughout the Niagara Region. These updates are also published on the town’s website (notl.com/COVID-19). Niagara Region Public Health is leading the vaccination planning and distribution process.
Posters providing contact information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations have been posted in the local post offices and other frequently visited locations throughout the community.
As of Monday, March 15, all residents 80 years of age and older (born in 1941 or earlier) have been able to book their own vaccination appointment through the provincial appointment booking system available online Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or over the phone (1-888-999-6488). To book an appointment, individuals need to have a green photo health (OHIP) card as both numbers on the front and back of the card are required. Expired cards will be accepted. Individuals who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488. Residents are able to book an appointment at any clinic across Niagara and can bring an essential caregiver with them to their appointment. It is important to note that wait times are expected for the provincial appointment system, both online and by phone. The phone line may be busy. If residents experience a busy signal, they should be encouraged to try again.
Now that the provincial booking system is operational, all persons in the 80+ age group must use it to make their appointments. If you know a NOTL resident who is eligible for their vaccination and may require help in booking their appointment, please reach out to them to offer your assistance. Note that Niagara Health System and other designated organizations are continuing to arrange for vaccinations for other Phase 1 high priority groups.
The first clinics in Niagara-on-the-Lake are scheduled for Wednesday, March 31, Thursday, April 1 and Friday, April 9 at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre located at 14 Anderson Lane from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Niagara Public Health has stated that “clinics will operate on a rotating basis and will increase in frequency over the next few weeks. The clinics will be offered in addition to local pharmacies and family doctors who may also provide the vaccine once supply is made available.” For more detailed information, please visit niagararegion.ca/news/.
When the vaccinations are completed for the Phase 1 high priority groups, residents in the Phase 2 groups will be able to schedule and receive their vaccinations. These groups include older adults, beginning with those 79 years of age and decreasing in five-year increments, and other priority groups.
In early March, Niagara Public Health announced that they were looking for a wide range of volunteers to work in the vaccination clinics. Due to an overwhelming response, the process for applications was closed on March 10. This is gratifying news, indicating the willingness of community members throughout the region to help in this critical effort.
As of March 12, over 37,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to residents throughout the region. To get the most up-to-date statistics on the progress of vaccination delivery in our Region, please visit both the Niagara Region website, as noted above, and the Niagara Health System website at www.niagarahealth.on.ca/site/vaccination-clinic. The Niagara Health System website reports the vaccination progress for patients 80-plus years old in one of their hospitals, complex care patients in hospital and those at home who are supported by Home and Community Care providers and other essential health care workers.
As we’ve reached the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and we move closer to a return to normalcy, it is important for everyone to remain calm and patient. It is the intention that every Niagara-on-the-Lake resident who wishes to receive a COVID-19 vaccination will not be forgotten or left behind. The goal of the town and the Community Wellness Committee is to deliver timely information about COVID-19 vaccines in Niagara-on-the-Lake to everyone as soon as possible.
What you can do now:
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues and until vaccines are completed, we must all continue to follow public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
• Stay home whenever
• Practise physical distancing – Maintain two metres from anyone who is not from your household.
• Practise frequent hand washing.
• Wear a mask or face covering in indoor spaces and when two metres physical distancing isn’t possible.
• Take a self-assessment if you are feeling unwell. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
• Stay up to date with the latest information about COVID-19 in Ontario. Visit covid19.ontario.ca for the most up-to-date information from the provincial government, niagararegion.ca for information from the Niagara Region, and notl.com/COVID-19 for information regarding impacts to Niagara-