215 residents and staff of Tendercare Living Centre get vaccinated
Published Sunday, January 10, 2021 6:02PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 11, 2021 5:03AM EST
More than 200 residents and staff have been vaccinated at a Scarborough long-term care home dealing with a deadly outbreak.
According to North York General Hospital, which is temporarily managing Tendercare Living Centre, 102 residents and 113 staff were inoculated on Sunday. The doses were administered by Scarborough Health Network.
“I’m happy I’m going to get my vaccine today,” personal support worker Nina Barcon told CTV News Toronto on her way into the centre. Barcon is expected to return to work on Monday after recovering from the infection.
Families were relieved that their loved ones were getting the vaccine. One of them was Dennis Yuen’s mother, who tested positive for COVID-19 over Christmas but had since been cleared.
Yuen and his wife Judy visited the home on Sunday and waved to his mother through the window.
“At least she’s not bed-ridden,” Judy said. “She gets to look out and wave at us.”
“It’s really tough for my mom. And for us too,” Yuen said.
An outbreak at the facility located in the area of McNicoll and Victoria Park Avenues declared in December saw a total of 184 residents testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Of those residents, 73 died, the highest death toll at an Ontario long-term care home since the beginning of the pandemic.
While 20 residents remain infected, the hospital posted no new cases among residents and, for the third day in a row, there are no new COVID-19 fatalities.
“This is an encouraging sign that the enhanced clinical care and infection prevention and control measures now in place continue to improve the situation as we move forward with resolving the outbreak and stabilizing the long-term care home,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, 80 cases among staff members have been resolved, and 43 have returned to work.
The Ontario government said earlier this week that their goal is to inoculate residents, staff and caregivers of all long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex by Jan. 21.
Speaking to CP24 on Sunday, Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos, a long-term care advocate, criticized the province’s program, saying it ignores the fact that the majority of nursing facilities are located outside of those four regions.
“They’re only accounting for a quarter of the homes. And frankly, if we had actually treated this like the emergency operation it was, we could have vaccinated at least half of all of our 626 long term care homes by now,” she said.
“It’s just unacceptable. We have to treat this with the urgency that it requires because our seniors are dying quite literally by the hour. We have exponential growth in these homes, and this vaccine program as is right now is simply not cutting it.”
Dr. Samir Sinha, the director of geriatrics at the Sinai Health System and University Health Network, also expressed his disappointment with the province’s vaccine rollout.
“The fact of the matter is our governments are playing politics with these vaccines. While they’re saying we want to work on getting people in the four hotspot regions vaccinated, we have 33 public health units right now that have homes in outbreak,” Sinha said in an interview with CP24.
“If we’re really truly following an ethical framework and we’re following the evidence, we would make sure that these people were getting the vaccines first and foremost before anybody else even including me.”
-- with files from CTV News Toronto's Natalie Johnson