Ontario Premier Doug Ford Provides COVID-19 Update | September 22
Ontario Premier Doug Ford unveiled the first part of his highly anticipated “Fall Preparedness Plan” this afternoon, announcing a $70-million flu immunization campaign.
Flu Immunization Campaign
Referring to it as the largest and most comprehensive flu immunization program in Canada’s history, Ford announced the provincial government has ordered 5.1 million doses that will be available through family physicians and participating pharmacies; this includes 1.3 million high-dose vaccines for Ontario’s seniors that will be available through their doctor, long-term care home or participating pharmacies. Both Ford and Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott encouraged everyone to get a flu shot this year to ease potential stress on the healthcare system as Ontario braces for a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fall Preparedness Plan
The flu shot campaign is the first pillar in the government’s “Fall Preparedness Plan,” titled Keeping Ontarians Safe. Details of the plan will be rolled out over several days (given the size and complexity of the plan, Ford said), but Elliott outlined the six pillars that will be covered in the plan.
After the flu shot campaign, the other five pillars are:
Strong public health measures, including the continued expansion of testing and contact tracing and case management;
Quickly identifying, managing and preventing COVID-19 outbreaks;
Accelerating efforts to reduce health service backlogs;
Preparing for surges in COVID-19 cases; and
Recruiting, retaining, training and supporting healthcare workers while continuing to engage families and caregivers.