This rhetoric is unacceptable and has no place in civil debate. The task force fully supports Niagara’s Acting Medical Officer of Health and thanks him for his continued efforts and advice in protecting the health and safety of Niagara’s residents.
Role of the task force
The Community Coordination Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccination has formed as part of the local pandemic response and recovery efforts to ensure the secure, efficient and equitable delivery of the local COVID-19 immunization strategy.
The task force will perform the following key advisory roles:
Champion and provide strategic guidance into the local immunization strategy, drawing on organizational and sector expertise
Offer support to the identification and prioritization of local populations within the phased provincial Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan
Provide advice into the communications and engagement plan for health care providers, priority populations and the general public
Receive status updates on vaccination progress, achievements and key milestones, and share information with other sector-specific organizations and community partners
Liaise and report regularly to Regional Council as the Board of Health
The task force reviewed and endorsed Niagara Region Public Health’s proposed principles for decision-making related to the sub-prioritization of priority populations in Niagara. These principles are:
Vaccinate those with the greatest risk of severe illness or death first to save lives
Vaccinate those with frequent, extended and close contact with those at the greatest risk of severe illness or death to stop transmission to those most at risk of death
Vaccinate those where local evidence shows a greater risk of infection to stop transmission into the community, including to those at risk of death
The task force also recommended several changes to Public Health's list of highest priority populations for vaccination in Niagara. Members agreed to include migrant agricultural workers, police and pharmacies in the highest priority category.
Niagara Health provided an update on the expansion of vaccinations for more health care workers at its Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre clinic. Lessons learned around the complexity of staffing and logistics will inform Public Health's future community-based immunization clinics.
At its second meeting, the task force received updates on vaccination activities completed by Niagara Health and Niagara Region Public Health to date.
The group also reviewed and provided input into Public Health's operational plan for mass immunization, and discussed ways to ensure Niagara's vulnerable populations are properly prioritized in the vaccination plan.