The Marathon Family Health Team (MFHT) is leading the COVID-19 vaccine planning efforts in Marathon and over the last few weeks, we have been working with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to ensure timely and regular vaccine deliveries to our community. Our team has also been working hard to prepare for upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics. We want to assure you that we have a strategy in place to safely, quickly and effectively administer the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available locally.
We are committed to keeping you informed and to regularly address your questions and concerns throughout this process. Below you will find answers to some of the questions we have been receiving regarding the vaccine and our local vaccine plan.
When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We understand that may are excited to receive the vaccine – and we look forward to giving it to everyone who wants it – but we can’t currently confirm when we will be receiving the vaccine in Marathon. However, we do anticipate vaccine deliveries to begin within the next few weeks.
When we are notified that vaccines are on their way, we will begin to contact individuals who are in the phase 1 priority groups identified by the Ministry of Health. Individuals who fall within these groups will be prioritized for earlier doses of the vaccine, which means that they will be offered the vaccines first.
Who do the priority groups include?
The phase 1 priority groups include the following:
- residents, staff and essential caregivers in congregate living settings for seniors (e.g., Peninsula Manor),
- health care workers (e.g., staff and healthcare providers who work in hospitals, clinics, assessment centres, dental offices, mental health offices, etc.),
- adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations, and
- adult recipients of chronic home health care (e.g., patients who are in the Home and Community Care program).
These specific groups are eligible for earlier doses of the vaccine because they are considered at higher risk of either contracting COVID-19 or of severe illness form the virus if they were to become infected.
Once all phase 1 priority groups have been identified and offered the vaccine, we will move on to the phase 2 priority groups, which include adults over the age of 60, essential workers and individuals with high risk chronic conditions.
How is the MFHT identifying the priority groups?
The MFHT has been using our electronic medical record (EMR) system to help us identify some of the phase 1 and 2 priority groups, including those who receive chronic home care, who are over 60 years of age and who have chronic conditions. However, there is a lot of information that we don’t have access to through our EMR. This means that a variety of strategies need to be used to effectively identify specific groups in our community.
For example, to identify residents of the Peninsula Manor and their essential care partners, we reached out to the manor and worked with their staff to pinpoint all eligible individuals. Meanwhile, to identify healthcare workers, we contacted all local health organizations and asked them to provide us with a list of their employees.
We are using different methods to identify specific groups and doing our best to ensure that all eligible individuals are being added to our priority list. With that said, if you don’t hear from us by February 19th, 2021 and you believe yourself to be in a phase 1 priority group, please contact us by emailing [email protected] or by calling 807-229-3243.
How will I be offered a vaccine/when will I know it’s my turn to be vaccinated?
We will be using the priority list that we are currently compiling in order to quickly identify individuals who are eligible for an earlier dose of the vaccine. If you are on that list, the MFHT will call you and offer you a vaccination appointment when the vaccine becomes available.
How can I help make local vaccination clinics successful?
Delivering efficient and successful vaccination clinics in our community will require team work. We will rely on your help for a few things, including completing your COVID-19 vaccine consent form in advance by filling out all the required information (make sure you sign the form and check all of the required boxes).
How will I receive a consent form?
If you are in a priority group, the MFHT will be contacting you to provide you with a COVID-19 vaccine consent form. We will offer to mail or email it to you.
When should I complete my COVID-19 vaccine consent form?
If you wish to receive a vaccine, you must complete you consent form prior to your vaccination appointment. Since we anticipate receiving the vaccine in the coming weeks, please complete and submit your consent form as soon as possible.
I have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Where can I find more information?
The healthcare providers at the MFHT are happy to address your questions and/or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Consider speaking with your healthcare provider at your next appointment or call the clinic to request a phone appointment.
You can also take a look at the vaccine FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on our website. Please click here get answers to some of the questions you may be wondering about. We will continue to add more FAQs to the list over time so be sure to check for updates.
We also regularly post information about the COVID-19 vaccine on our Facebook page. Search for Marathon Family Health Team – Health Promotion on Facebook and scroll through our page for more information.