Ottawa paramedics administer second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to long-term care residents this weekend
OTTAWA -- Ottawa paramedics spent the weekend administering the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to residents in Ottawa's long-term care homes.
The Ottawa Paramedic Service tweeted an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the paramedic mobile vaccination teams visiting long-term care homes on Sunday.
Residents at all 28 long-term care homes in Ottawa received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. This weekend, paramedics visited several long-term care homes to administer the second dose of the vaccine.
On Sunday, paramedics visited Extendicare Medex, Laurier Manor and West-End Villa.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Extendicare says over 400 residents at Extendicare Medex, Laurier Manor and West-End Villa received the second dose of the vaccine on Sunday.
"A milestone our communities have been looking forward to for months," said the statement.
"Going forward, we’ll continue to work with our health partners on further phases of vaccine access to expand full protections to our team members as well, as soon as additional supply is made available."
On Twitter, the Ottawa Paramedic Service showed the dilution team picking up and preparing the COVID-19 vaccine, and paramedics preparing to visit the long-term care homes.
Ottawa Paramedic Chief Pierre Poirier told CTV News Ottawa that 20 paramedics would help administer the vaccine on Saturday, with 35 to 40 needed on Sunday.
"You know what's been incredible is how staff have stepped up," said Poirier during an interview on Friday. "Admittedly, we're doing a lot of this on overtime, but staff have really felt a real positive contribution to our community by doing this."
The Ottawa Paramedic Service works in teams to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in long-term care homes. The dilution team will pick-up the doses at the Ottawa Hospital and bring it to the long-term care home to start preparing the dose.
"They'll be there an hour before the rest of the paramedics arrive," said Poirier. "That's where we'll have a group of three paramedics who will actually take care of the administration of the vaccine. When they arrive, the paramedics will confirm that they have a consent, they'll confirm that the consent matches the patient, and then they'll administer the vaccine."
Extendicare says while the residents receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging, measures will remain in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"We will remain steadfast in our efforts, including continuing to adhere to all infection prevention and control practices in our homes, like the use of personal protective equipment by all staff, regular staff testing and daily COVID-19 screening of all residents, for the foreseeable future."
As of Friday, the Ottawa Hospital had just over 200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in its freezer. Ottawa's General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services Anthony Di Monte said the city expects to receive another shipment of Pfizer vaccines early this week.
Poirier tells CTV News Ottawa if the city receives more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, paramedics will be deployed again this week.
"Hopefully next week, depending whether or not more Pfizer arrives or if Moderna arrives, we'll be doing retirement facilities that are considered high-risk," said Poirier. "If we have the vaccine, we'll hopefully do 35 between Tuesday and Friday."
400 OTTAWA PARAMEDICS RECEIVE THE FIRST DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE
Approximately 400 Ottawa paramedics and staff members have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Poirier tells CTV News Ottawa that because five or six doses can be drawn from the Prizer COVID-19 vials, they've been able to get extra doses for staff.
"Whenever there is a sixth dose, that sixth dose is on the clock that it has to be used within a certain time limit. As we've gone through a home, we may end up with two or 10 or 15 extra doses because we've been able to draw a sixth dose out," said Poirier. "We've given that to staff, but we've also given that to paramedics on scene because the clock is ticking, we wouldn't want to waste a dose. We've had a number of paramedics to get vaccinated their first dose."