We are writing to provide you with an update from our united Primary Care COVID-19 Vaccination Collaborative (*PC-VAC). This past week’s key messages that we shared with vaccine decision-makers can be found here.
Today, the primary care organizations had an opportunity to present to some public health units, members of the Ministry’s Public Health Branch and colleagues from the Solicitor General’s office about the role primary care plays in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines. We highlighted equity as the grounding principle to the vaccine roll-out and provided four different scenarios where primary care is already playing a pivotal role: In-Office Primary Care Vaccine Clinics, Drive Through Clinics, Mobile Units, and Vaccines for the Homebound or Limited Mobility Individuals.
These scenarios were based on already existing experiences in primary care and was part of an administrative table-top exercise with the PHUs which will help them finalize their public health – primary care collaborations and future work that will be done with clinical leaders. The slide deck can be found here. As more information becomes available, we will continually be providing an update.
- The Ontario government announced Phase Two of the Vaccine Distribution Plan, including eligible populations. The full technical briefing is available here.
- The AstraZeneca vaccine will soon be distributed in a limited number of PHUs and primary care offices in a pilot program. Details are forthcoming. An online Community of Practice will be led by Ontario Health to support sharing of lessons learned.
- OntarioMD will be providing additional training and onboarding on COVAXON (the vaccine registration system) for physicians, starting with those involved in vaccine pilots, including support for technical questions that arise throughout the process. More information to follow.
- Physicians can review a Ministry INFOBulletin regarding newly negotiated compensation for vaccinations and vaccine outreach.
- A joint letter was sent to Premier Ford and Minister Elliott from a consortium of health care associations requesting that the government build upon and enhance strategies towards an equitable vaccination rollout: “Ensuring Equity in Ontario’s Vaccination Campaign”
- With Health Canada approval of Johnson & Johnson single-dose viral vector-based COVID-19 vaccine, and the expected acceleration of Pfizer vaccine deliveries, Ontario is expected to receive significant doses of various vaccines over the coming weeks.
- A feature article on collaboration between sectors during Phase 1 entitled We’re All in This Together: Power of Partnership is the Key Ingredient to Vaccine Rollout Success is featured in the OHA Health System News and speaks to three examples of how primary care, hospitals and public health worked collaboratively to vaccine LTC/RH residents.
- The Primary Care COVID Immunization Toolkit is now live to help primary care clinics plan as they support the immunization effort. This is the result of an initiative supported by primary care clinicians and experts from across Canada, and content are continuing to be updated.
- New resources from the Centre for Effective Practice:
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) viral vector vaccine section including details on Side effects, contraindications and precautions and vaccine ingredients
- Vaccination Administration section that provides details on: Administration, Adverse events, Vaccine specific preparation and storage / stability guidance, Disposal
- COVID-19 vaccine bulletin #2 explains how the vaccines were developed so quickly in 10 languages (more to come). This bulletin is a collaboration among Refugee 613, OCASI, TAIBU Community Health Centre, and Crossroads Clinic at Women’s College Hospital.
- Resources and learning from COVID-19 testing strategies in priority communities that include outreach and wrap around support are available on Health Commons website.
- Information sheet for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals regarding COVID-19 vaccination from the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH).
- Provincial COVID-19 communication resources include multilingual fact sheets, videos, and other resources from various partners.
- DFCM and the OCFP have developed a self-learning series designed to provide primary care professionals with the knowledge and skills to support the vaccine efforts. Register on the DFCM website to access the free modules.
- The following guidance documents have been posted on the Ministry’s website in English and French.
- COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance
- COVID-19 Guidance: Considerations for Antigen Point-of-Care Testing
- COVID-19 Quick Reference Public Health Guidance on Testing and Clearance
- COVID-19 Guidance: Considerations for Privately Initiated Testing
- Point-of-Care Testing Use Case Guidance
- Appendix 9: Management of Individuals with Point-of-Care Results
- Public Health Ontario Learning Exchange: COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Equity Considerations, Wednesday, March 10, 2:00-3:00 pm. The webinar will focus on sharing of equity centered health unit practices to support COVID-19 vaccine uptake, followed by a learning exchange on prioritizing trustworthiness and trust, as well as highlighting experiences/challenges/opportunities.
- COVID-19 and the Black community: Answering questions about COVID vaccines, Saturday, March 13, 12-3 pm: A national forum hosted by the Black Opportunity Fund and BlackNorth Initiative to hear from and engage with Black doctors, nurses, social workers, and other medical professions.
- The COVID-19 Community of Practice, with UofT DFCM and the OCFP, will take place on Friday, March 12, and Drs. Kieran Moore and Daniel Warshafsky will cover the role for family physicians in the vaccine rollout, and the new vaccines.
In Case you Missed it: Learnings From Primary Care: Vaccine Roll-Out Across Ontario Webinar
On Friday, February 26, we heard from four AFHTO teams who have stepped up to provide leadership for vaccine distribution in their communities. They spoke to work that is underway, offered guidance and advice, spoke to challenges faced and how they are resolving them, and answered questions.
Dr. Daniel Warshafsky, Senior Medical Consultant, Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, also joined the call to provide an update on vaccine roll-out and to take questions. You can access the slide deck and webinar on our site here.
We look forward to continually updating you on the provincial vaccination strategy. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or ideas.
Yours in good health,
The AFHTO Team
*Ontario Primary Care COVID-19 Vaccination Action Council:
- Alliance for Healthier Communities
- Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
- Indigenous Primary Health Care Council
- Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Association/Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario
- Ontario College of Family Physicians
- Ontario Medical Association Section on General and Family Practice
- Ontario’s Academic Chairs of Family Medicine