Thunder Bay – POLITICS – Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro met virtually today with Minister of Health Christine Elliott’s Chief of Staff on the ongoing situation with COVID-19 in the city and district.
Mayor Mauro brought forward his concerns related to Thunder Bay not being chosen as a pilot site for the distribution of the AstraZenica vaccine to people aged 60 to 64.
The Mayor also addressed Thunder Bay’s urgent need for getting additional attention when it comes to the provision of all vaccines.
“I was pleased to confirm today with the Minister’s Chief of Staff that the Thunder Bay region is going to be receiving extra doses of the Moderna vaccine next week, and that we will continue to be a priority when it comes to receiving extra doses of vaccine,” said Mayor Mauro. “This was reassuring as we are in a difficult situation, and we continue to struggle to reduce the number of daily active COVID-19 cases.”
The AstraZenica vaccine is being delivered through a pilot project at pharmacies and primary care settings in three public health unit regions including Toronto, Windsor-Essex, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington.
“I was told that these regions were chosen based primarily on their ability to get the vaccine out as quickly and efficiently as possible because of the vaccines expiry date of April 2,” he said.
He added that he was told that because of the small numbers of AstraZenica vaccine available, the Ministry of Health doesn’t see this particular batch of the vaccine as valuable in stemming a surge like Thunder Bay is seeing. The Minister’s Chief of Staff said that as more of the AstraZenica vaccine becomes available, Thunder Bay will be considered. Mayor Mauro was also given assurances that Thunder Bay will be receiving extra doses of the Moderna vaccine over and above the regular population based allottment.
In addition, as a result of the increase in vaccine availability, Mayor Mauro learned that the initial, colour-coded response framework that was initially put in place to determine what Grey/Red Zones would be the Province’s primary focus of attention for vaccine rollout, has now been replaced with a population based approach that allows for extra vaccine for areas that are experiencing a surge in cases and transmission rates.