Message to Residents and Fellows re: COVID Vaccinations

Many of you have questions about COVID vaccinations, availability, timing and prioritization. Below are some answers and information, (basically another FAQ for you).

Please know that PGME will always advocate for you – and we do. Unfortunately, with respect to vaccinations, this is outside of the control of PGME and your program directors. Vaccinations depend on availability, and also the mandated prioritization from the Ministry of Health.

  1. Other areas/hospitals/centers have vaccinated more residents/fellows. Yes – this is true – there has been regional variation in Ontario with vaccine availability. This is due to differences in the amount of doses being distributed, based on the prevalence of infections and area status (grey, red, orange etc.) For example, Kingston did not receive their first vaccine dose until mid January.

    This is completely outside of the control of LHSC, other hospitals, Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) and other health units such as Windsor-Essex and PGME.

  2.  Vaccine supply, including the pause required because of Pfizer vaccine availability, is completely out of the control of LHSC, other hospitals MLHU, other health units and PGME.

  3. Residents are not being prioritized…. Not true. Residents are Health Care Workers and are prioritized according to the guidance of the Ministry of Health and vaccine availability. The first priority for Health Care Workers included front facing workers in ICU, Emergency, Medicine Units etc. (as per guidance documents previously distributed). Residents, fellows and medical students rotating in block 9 and 10 to ICU and ER etc. at LHSC have received appointments, or will be shortly.

    However, prioritization of residents, staff, faculty (Health Care Workers) etc. in other areas is subject to the MOH guidance. MOH and Public Health prioritization is based on the available science with respect to risk. This is completely outside the control of LHSC, other hospitals and PGME despite our advocacy.

  4. MOH guidance requires vaccination prioritization of individuals other than Health Care Workers as well – for example residents in Long Term Care, essential workers in LTC, and more recently individuals in the community over 80 years of age, as well as other high risk groups. So all of the vaccine doses are not going solely to HCW – the relative distribution is, once again, mandated.

  5. IMPORTANT NOTE: New guidance with respect to prioritization may provided early next week, this will be mandated by MOH and Public Health. PGME will provide you with any information as soon as it is available.

  6. There are a number of new vaccination centers being set up in our region, dependant on vaccination availability, which will increase capacity for the community individuals who have been prioritized as well as HCW.