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HPEPH launching standby list for phase one priority groups to fill all available vaccine appointments

Beginning Monday, April 26, Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is launching a weekly standby list for individuals from certain priority groups to fill last-minute appointment vacancies at COVID-19 vaccine clinics caused by no-shows and cancellations.

HPEPH states it is important to be aware the chances of getting an appointment through the standby list is low, and filling in the form does not guarantee you an appointment. Walk-ins will be turned away from vaccine clinics and only those with appointments should attend.

HPEPH clinics may be offering Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine and by registering on the standby list you indicate you are are willing to receive any of these vaccination options. HPEPH states people younger than 40 would not be offered appointments at clinics where AstraZeneca is being administered.

To begin, HPEPH is offering the standby opportunity to people in the Phase 1 priority groups who do not yet have a booked appointment.

To be eligible for the standby list individuals must:
– have not received a first dose of vaccine;
– not have an appointment scheduled for their first dose;
– be able to be at the designated clinic site with 30 minutes if invited;

AND be in one of the following groups:
– Highest and very high priority health care workers (i.e. hospital and acute care staff, long-term care workers, patient-facing health care workers with high risk of exposure, medical first responders, community health workers serving specialized populations, workers in high-risk congregate settings)
– Essential caregiver of a person living in a long-term care or retirement home
– People with highest-risk conditions and one primary caregiver (i.e. organ transplant recipients, hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, people with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised, haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year, kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (e.g. under 30), pregnancy*)
– One primary caregiver for a person with a highest-risk health condition
– Recipients of chronic home care
– Faith leaders and funeral workers that have direct contact with the ill, dying or deceased.
– Special education workers (in schools who have been provided a letter of eligibility from their employer)
– People aged 60 and older.

“While our team has been working diligently to fill any last-minute appointment vacancies with individuals who qualify based on prioritization criteria, as our clinics continue to experience no-shows or last-minute cancellations we are implementing a more efficient system,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of the first possible opportunity to get vaccinated, but if you already have an appointment at an HPEPH clinic and get vaccinated elsewhere, or cannot make it to your appointment at an HPEPH clinic for any reason, please cancel your appointment as soon as possible so someone else can access this vacancy and plan proactively for an appointment without relying on a last-minute standby approach.”

Every Monday thereafter, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., a standby form will be posted at hpePublicHealth.ca/standby. At 12:30 p.m. the list will close for the week and when last minute appointments become available, HPEPH staff will telephone individuals on the list.

It is imperative individuals are able to confirm their availability immediately. If no one answers the call, HPEPH will not leave a message but will move to the next individual on the list.

Effective April 23, the province has added pregnancy to the list of highest risk health conditions. Individuals with highest risk health conditions can book directly through the provincial call centre at 1-888-999-6488. It is recommended (but not required) that those who are pregnant discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their health care provider prior to booking an appointment. Individuals with highest risk health conditions who are unable to secure an appointment are invited to use the standby list.

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