Maimonides gearing up for COVID-19 vaccine as early as this weekend, health authorities say

The novel coronavirus vaccine rollout at a long-term care centre in Montreal is set to start as early as this weekend, local health authorities say.

The Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Côte Saint-Luc, which has been hard hit by the pandemic’s second wave, is among one of the first health-care institutions to gain access to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the regional health authority that oversees centre, said in a statement that it contacted family representatives Thursday to send them “the consent form and background information on the vaccine, as soon as we got them from the government.”

READ MORE: Maimonides set to gain access to some of Quebec’s first COVID-19 vaccines

This was done to best help the health authority manage the tight timeline. It was previously announced that Maimonides would start vaccinations next week.

“We expect to start vaccinating residents of Maimonides this weekend, as early as Saturday night,” the CIUSSS said. “Timing depends on when we receive the vaccine.”

The health authority says it received “100 positive replies” from families within three hours of contacting them about the inoculation plan.

“We will now be phoning those family representatives that have not responded yet,” it said.

READ MORE: Montreal public health ‘worried’ after city sets record by topping 600 new coronavirus cases

Maimonides has been ravaged by the virus in recent weeks. In late November, 20 residents were transferred to Montreal hospitals after the virus took hold and the health authority closed a hot zone to contain the spread.

Under Quebec’s inoculation plan, it is one of two CHSLDs in the province that will gain access to the vaccine. The other is in Quebec City.

The CIUSSS said earlier this week the vaccine will be administered in two doses, with the second dose coming three weeks after the first, at Maimonides.

In the meantime, other public health measures will remain in place at the long-term care centre to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Click to play video 'Maimonides orderly claims workers with COVID-19 back on the job too soon' 2:11 Maimonides orderly claims workers with COVID-19 back on the job too soon

Maimonides orderly claims workers with COVID-19 back on the job too soon

With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier and The Canadian Press

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