COVID-19 Information for Residency Programs - Week of January 18

  1. Resident and Fellow Wellness – Please contact Learner Experience – Dr. Michelle Marlborough is providing drop-support for postgraduate learners every second Tuesday from 7 pm beginning Tuesday, January 19. This will provide a confidential pressure-free space to connect.

  2. COVID-19 in Ontario – cases and case projections suggest increasing numbers of cases and pressure on our hospitals and health care workers for care of additional patients. At Victoria Hospital medicine beds have been increased. MOH has asked that Intensive Care Units provide contingency planning for a 200% bed increase. This is a health care emergency – which is affecting all of our programs and yourselves as postgraduate learners – in different ways depending on your program and rotations, but for some it includes redeployment.

  3. Vaccination questions:
    • How are the vaccine doses prioritized in Ontario?
      The first priority is to provide vaccinations to Long-Term Healthcare staff, residents and essential care-givers. Initially LTC staff were immunized, but logistical and technical issues with providing vaccinations on site for LTC residents have been addressed and vaccinations are now going to LTC residents (as a top priority group because of their vulnerability and mortality/morbidity rate). This meant that vaccination of hospital staff was paused on January 13th at the Agriplex until more vaccine became available.

      Priority for hospital workers uses the following criteria:
      • Risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 based on role/responsibility
      • Risk of severe disease/outcome from COVID-19 among patient population service
      • Risk to critical healthcare resource (e.g. one with limited redundancy)

      Group 1 for the hospital included health care workers from Medicine units, Emergency Department and Critical Care. The link below includes the LHSC process.

      MOH Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for COVID-19 Vaccination – updated Jan. 8
      MOH Ethical Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
      MOH Ethical Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility and Rollout

  4. How many doses are there etc.?
    • Until this week when supply began to decrease the London area was receiving ~ 5000 doses/week (about 40% of those doses are deployed to Southwest Public Health, and Huron-Perth, with ~ 3000 available for LHSC)
    • Pfizer vaccine supply has been temporarily delayed across Canada (the world actually) as Pfizer expands their manufacturing facility/capability – this will decrease by ~ 50% the doses that Canada receives per week over the next several weeks.
    • How many people need to be vaccinated in our area – LongTermCare staff/residents (~ 12,000 24, 000 doses) and LHSC has ~ 15,000 staff ( 30,000 doses) (so…..lots).
    • LHSC Agriplex has vaccinated ~ 250 postgraduate learners with their first dose – so with close to a thousand PG residents and fellow the majority of you have not yet received a first dose.

  5. I go my first dose – but when do I get my second?
    • You will have received an appointment for your second dose – however with the combination of vaccination of LTC staff and residents, and the unexpected delay in Pfizer delivery second vaccine appointments are being rescheduled – the intent is to provide a second dose between 21 and 42 days after the first dose. Note that this directive is from the Ontario Ministry of Health.

  6. When do I get my first dose?
    • No one knows right now – Agriplex can provide as many as 800 vaccinations/day – but supply is the limiting factor. This is really stressful and challenging – at least partly because of the uncertainty and the fact that availability can change at any time (for better or worse).
    • You WILL get vaccinated, please be patient, and avoid ‘queue jumping’.
    • What we can say is that all health care workers will be immunized – and that Moderna and Pfizer doses will be available with an increased supply over time...

  7. What about other hospitals in the province? I’ve heard...
    • The availability of the vaccine across Ontario has been variable – for example London provided their ‘first dose’ on December 23rd, and Kingston’s ‘first dose’ was January 12.
    • This is outside the control of LHSC or Windsor. Allocation is per MOH.

  8. Moderna or Pfizer or does it matter?
    • Both are mRNA vaccines, with virtually the same adverse effects.
    • Pfizer vaccine is stored at ultra-low temperatures ( - 60 to -80 degrees C), stable for 5 days in a fridge
    • Moderna is stored at – 20 degrees C, and is stable for 30 days in a fridge
    • Both require two doses for optimal efficacy, both are over 90% effective
    • Side effects (1 – 10%) include injection site discomfort, fatigue, chills/fever (more common with second dose) with severe side effects very rare.
    • Allergic reaction/anaphylaxis also very rare, after dose you are monitored for 15 minutes

  9. I carry an Epi-Pen – can I get vaccinated at the Agriplex?
    • Yes, (the original restriction was revised)

Please Keep Positive and Test Negative