EOHU to assist school vaccine clinics soon

By Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
EOHU to assist school vaccine clinics soon
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the EOHU holds an empty vial of the Pfizer version of the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic at the Benson Centre on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Following the announcement by the Ontario government that local health units will be running COVID-19 vaccine clinics at schools as the school year begins, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is already working on plans locally.

“We are working closely with our school boards right now to set up school clinics,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the EOHU. “We have 12 of our nurses working with the school boards now to move forward.”

He said that the health unit is still determining if the clinics would be after hours, on weekends, or during the instructional day.

When asked what would happen if a student wanted to get a COVID-19 vaccine but had a parent or guardian who objected to that vaccination being given, Roumeliotis offered this explanation.

“If a child who is eligible for the vaccine gives the impression, or the impression of the vaccinator is that that individual can make an informed consent, then that informed consent rules,” he said.

Currently youth between age 12 and 17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as approved by Health Canada.

As of the August 16 update by the EOHU there are 14 active COVID-19 infections in the region, a decrease over last week.

Eleven of the cases center around the City of Cornwall and South Stormont, the remaining three are in Prescott-Russell County. There are no active infections in the rest of SDG Counties including South Dundas.

Two people are hospitalized, one is in ICU, and one person died from COVID-19 in the past week. This increased the region’s death toll to 112 since the pandemic began.

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