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More COVID-19 vaccines coming to Elliot Lake

The Elliot Lake Family Health Team’s (ELFHT) COVID-19 vaccination program is expecting a lot more vaccines over the next few weeks. Nancy Ewen, Elliot Lake Family Health Team executive director, says “It’s going to be a busy month.” This week, the ELFHT will be holding its vaccination clinic at the Collins Hall on Thursday all day. They are to receive 335 doses. Next week, Ewen says they expect to receive 822 doses of the vaccine. As a result, they will have vaccination clinics on three days. Wednesday (June 16) afternoon and all day Thursday (June 17) clinics will for those age 80 years and up and essential workers and those who are to receive their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination. On Friday (June 18), the vaccination clinic will be all day and will be for those ages 12 and up for their first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination. “It seems like there is not as much of a call for first dose, most people are looking for their second dose. Algoma Public Health sends us a certain amount for first doses and a certain amount for second,” says Ewen, adding that first and second shots are the same. For the following week, they will receive about 288 doses and are to have two days of clinics, Thursday, June 24 and Friday, June 25. On the Friday, the clinic is for those who received their first dose of the Moderna version of the vaccine on March 17. They would get their second shot of the Moderna vaccine. Those who are to get their second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna versions will be contacted. However, anyone who got their first dose of the vaccine outside of Elliot Lake would have to call the ELFHT to book an appointment. During Canada Day week, they expect to receive 601 doses. They will have two all-day clinics, one on Wednesday, June 30 and on Thursday, July 1, Canada Day. Some of Ewen staff said, “What a better way to celebrate Canada Day than by giving the vaccine.” Ewen adds that the “clinics have been going really well.” On Thursday, June 10, they received 336 doses, but they were able to get an additional 25 doses out of the vials. Ewen says those who have received the AstraZeneca version of the vaccine “are allowed to get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna; but they have to wait 12 weeks between their first dose of the AstraZeneca and getting another dose of something. It’s been approved now that we’re allowed to give another MRNA vaccine for AstraZeneca.” Ewen cautions those who receive their second dose of any of the vaccines still need to continue to wear masks and keep two metres away from people not in their households. “They still can get COVID-19 even with the second shot, it’s just they don’t get all the symptoms.” “They can still get it (COVID) and they can still spread it, but it probably won’t kill them.” “So, we still need to be vigilant after we get our second dose.” She adds that they have had great community support and volunteers through the vaccination clinics. “The Rotary Club has really stepped up to pull forward. Community members and community businesses have been supporting our lunch breaks, and that has been very appreciated. It’s been a real community effort. It makes me more and more proud of Elliot Lake every day.” Those wanting their first vaccination must have an appointment. To get an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, call the ELFHT at 705-461-8882.

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Nancy Ewen, Elliot Lake Family Health Team executive director

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