On March 18th, the Lanark County Paramedic Service (LCPS), in collaboration with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit, rolled out its mobile in-home vaccination program. Residents of Lanark County who meet strict eligibility criteria can be referred to the Community Paramedic Program by public health or by a primary care provider. The criteria include those aged 75+ with mobility impairment and adult recipients of chronic home care that have mobility issues and cannot go to one of the community vaccination sites.  Within the first 48 hours of the program launch, the LCPS received more than 100 requests for in-home vaccinations. Community Paramedics are busy setting up appointments in the coming days.

Community Paramedics begin their day by picking up pre-filled syringes of Moderna vaccine that have been carefully prepared and packaged in pre-conditioned coolers. Using tablets to access a Ministry of Health web portal, clients are screened to make sure they are feeling well enough to receive the vaccine.  The vaccine is administered, and the Ministry of Health portal is updated to reflect the new vaccine status. The Paramedic monitors the client for 15 minutes post-immunization and they receive proof of immunization card. Clients will be contacted by Community Paramedics when they are due for their second dose, following the timelines provided by Public Health.

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark Public Health Manager Lucia Taggart leads the mobile vaccination program: “Today both Lanark and Leeds Paramedics Services are immunizing some of our most vulnerable residents of Leeds, Grenville & Lanark in their own homes.  This will be a life-changing event for these residents.  Some of them have not stepped out of their houses in over a year.”.

Janice Steele, Acting Commander of the Community Paramedic Program at LCPS added: “Lanark County Paramedics have been on the frontline of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, adapting all aspects of how we provide 911 emergency response to keep our patients and paramedics safe.  We have also played an integral role in COVID-19 testing across the county surpassing 32,000 swabs completed to date.  To be able to offer this service and provide residents a light at the end of this long tunnel is very rewarding.”

Residents of Lanark County who meet the eligibility criteria should contact the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark Public Health Unit Booking Centre at 1-844-369-1234 (toll-free). Hours of operation are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, 7 days a week.  Residents can also email covid@healthunit.org and provide their name, eligibility group, date of birth, and a phone number. Due to the volume of email, it may take several days to reply.