Residents of two Quebec nursing homes in Canada received the Pfizer-BioMtech vaccine this week, which is just beginning to become a major immunity against COVID-19.
While other provinces say the vaccine’s maintenance requirements make it harder to give nursing home residents immediate immunity, Quebec is starting in those facilities where the disease continues to erode at a terrible rate.
The first COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada arrived in the country on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter.
The province is testing the challenges of the new vaccine at the Saint-Antoine long-term care home in Quebec City and at the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Center on the west side of the island of Montreal.
In Quebec City, the first person to be vaccinated was selected: Gisele Lowesque, an 89-year-old former bank employee who moved to Saint-Antoine as the epidemic began. In Montreal, a special freezer was distributed, teams of nurses were set up with crash carts, and consent forms were e-mailed.
Half of the 900 appointments were also ntic backed in Manitoba The province’s first vaccination clinic was booked early Sunday morning. Manitoba is prioritizing older health care workers who have direct contact with patients.
Ontario begins with the vaccination of front-line health workers at the University Health Network in Toronto and Ottawa Hospital.
The first shipment of vaccines will be shipped this week to 14 sites in 10 provinces. Quebec is the only place in the nursing home where immunity can be initiated.
Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine approved by Health Canada The Modena vaccine, next for certification, requires only simple refrigeration. The Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine should be kept between -80C and -60C, so it can be transported in containers filled with dry ice. Quebec ordered 65 ultracold freezers to store the vaccine.
The second wave of COVID-19 forced lockdowns in many parts of the country and pushed health facilities to the brink. Maimonides, for example, infected 40 residents and left 15 dead.
“Some of us get relief. There are people who believe that the vaccine will protect their loved ones. But there are also concerns, ”said Joyce Shanks, whose 81-year-old father, Harvey Stolier, lives in Maimonides.
Ms Shanks, a member of the Center Family Advocacy Committee, said some relatives were concerned about the adverse reactions to the vaccine. However, families are assured that vaccinations will be done in the bedroom with additional nurses, doctors and a pharmacist pharmacist.
The rollout at Maimonides will begin gradually in each ward, said Lucy Tremble, director of nursing at West-Central Montreal Health Board. “We want to make sure we can perform post-injection monitoring. We do not need to keep an eye on 70 people for side effects. This is even more brilliant with small groups of about 10 residents. ”
Of the 327 Maimonides residents, 250 agreed to be vaccinated. Legal representatives were contacted by e-mail and phone for those who were mentally fit. Ms. Tremble said some relatives did not agree because their parents were already in palliative care.
In Quebec City, the Saint-Antoine facility said most of the 229 residents are likely to be vaccinated. The second wave avoided Saint-Antoine until last week, when eight residents were infected.
Nearly 7,000 Canadian seniors living in long-term care (LTC) centers die The novel coronavirus from the beginning of the epidemic and the nursing home mortality rate linked to this disease in the world is one in the country.
The vaccine can protect those who have received COVID-19, but it is not yet known whether asymptomatic carriers will eliminate the virus.
Given the potential for post-vaccination viral outbreaks, the Quebec National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) has advised the government to adopt a “direct strategy” of immunizing those who cause harm, rather than an “indirect strategy” of injecting those who cause harm. Viral carriers.
That’s why Quebec LTC prioritized residents, then front-line healthcare workers, then people living in seniors residences.
For the initial phase, Pfizer said shots can only be administered at sites where the vaccine has fallen. Health Minister Christian Dubey said there will eventually be 20 sites, half of which are nursing homes. Some remote areas will have to wait for the modern vaccine.
Each carton of vaccines contains 975 doses in 195 pots. “When you open the box, you cannot transfer those doses to another place. So you should have [nursing homes] Or places where you can use at least 975 doses, ”Premier Franకోois Legalt told reporters.
Each bottle gives five shots, which must be injected within six hours of being made. So even if a site LTC is at home, the vaccine can be given to other high priority people outside the facility than the remaining doses of waste.
Ms Shanks suffers from chronic problems with Quebec’s care homes, she fears will weaken the effectiveness of the vaccine.
While shots are available to staff and residents, priority is not given to relatives who act as guardians. And employees are not systematically tested for coronavirus. (Local Health Board spokesman Carl Theriolt said staff could not be legally pressured to test.)
“It’s very upsetting and very worrying to me. It’s okay if you get vaccinated because you can still spread the virus in the community,” Ms Shanks said.
INSPQ province aims to vaccinate one-third of its 8.5 million population.
By the end of January, Legalt said his government hoped to immunize a total of 176,000 seniors – all living in nursing homes and seniors’ residences. “It’s a big change in this situation,” he told reporters.
Major-General Danny Fortin, leading Nationwide distribution of vaccines, he told the CBC on Sunday, adding that he expects the modern vaccines to be distributed to Canada in early January, but plans are now in place to prepare.
“I really want to be ready by the end of next week,” he said.
How the Pfizer-Bioentech COVID-19 vaccine was made for injection
The first vaccine certified for immunity against COVID-19 requires ultracold storage and a two-shot regimen, but also requires some additional preparation before injection.
Unlike regular versions of flu shots, the Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine does not come in prefilled syringes, but in cartons of 195 multidos wiles.
These pots should first be thawed in the refrigerator for two hours or 30 minutes at room temperature. Next, gently rotate them 10 times but do not stir.
Then 1.8 ml of saline solution should be injected into each bottle to dilute the ial drugs. After the saline solution is added, 1.8 ml of air is withdrawn from each bottle to equalize the internal pressure.
Carefully turn the pots 10 times to add the solution. Since the vaccine must be used within six hours, the preparation time is recorded.
The vaccine is injected into the shoulder muscle, requiring a second shot 21 days later.
With a report from Christie Kirkup in Ottawa
Sign up for Coronavirus update newsletter To read the important coronavirus news, symptoms and commentators of the day written by Globe Reporters.