Guelph-Wellington paramedics helping with COVID-19 vaccinations

WELLINGTON COUNTY –Local paramedics are helping to administer COVID-19 vaccines to recipients across the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region.

Last weekend (Jan. 15 to 17), they gave shots to residents at long-term care homes in Guelph, Fergus, Harriston, Mount Forest and Puslinch.

“We’re so proud of how our team has answered the call from public health to assist with the roll out of their COVID-19 vaccine program,” stated Leanne Swantko, deputy paramedic chief, Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service (GWPS) on Jan. 20.

“This is certainly a big undertaking and it’s one more way our paramedics are giving back to the communities they care for on a daily basis.”

About 30 paramedics are trained to administer both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with another 20 ready to be trained as more vaccine shipments arrive. Training includes an online course and four hours of on-the-job training with public health nurses.

WDGPH Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer said “it will take a community-wide effort to get the vaccine to our most vulnerable citizens as quickly as possible.”

She thanked GWPS members for their role in the “vital project.”

Since March local paramedics have been involved with COVID-19 testing and more recently they have provided remote patient monitoring of positive cases at long-term care facilities.