Family challenges health unit statement that all LTC homes vaccinated
LONDON, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit’s trumpeting of a vaccination milestone is drawing fire from the families of some long-term care residents.
“We will have all long-term care homes vaccinated by the end of this week,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie during a media briefing on Thursday. “Everyone in long-term care homes will have been offered, and almost all have received, two doses.”
“That’s not true!” charges Kristin Hunter, whose father lives at Middlesex Terrace in Delaware. ““It’s not true that everyone has received a first dose.”
Hunter says her father was diagnosed with COVID-19 on January 8, and was not offered the vaccination when a mobile clinic was held.
She explains the health unit’s messaging has alarmed families that their loved ones may have been missed.
“It also makes me wonder if he didn’t get it, when is he going to get it?” Hunter adds.
Mary Raithby, CEO of Middlesex Terrace tells CTV News the situation may require greater clarity from the health unit, to help family members understand how immunity was maximized during the peak of the pandemic’s second wave.
Today MLHU offered a more detailed explanation of its progress.
“We’ve been able to get to every long-term care home to offer the vaccine to everyone who was eligible at that time,” says Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr Summers.
Dr. Summers admits that initially the supply of vaccine was so scarce, the health unit followed federal guidance that maximized overall immunity.
“Individuals who had previously had COVID, we did not give them the vaccine at that time in order to save some vaccine for those who hadn’t had COVID in the past because the risk of re-infection is exceptionally low.”
According to Middlesex Terrace just 9 of its 56 residents have received a first dose.
Dr. Summers says a significant outbreak at Middlesex Terrace resulted in an unusually low vaccination rate.
“At a majority of our facilities, over 90 percent of residents will have received a vaccine,” adds Summers. “We will be heading out to Middlesex Terrace next week.”
But for Kristin Hunter, those figures only support her concern about the health unit’s declaration.
“I don’t understand why the messaging continues that these vaccinations were completed, because they’re not. My dad is not invisible. He matters.”