Guelph-Wellington paramedics helping public health with COVID-19 vaccinations

Paramedic administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination to a long-term care resident.

Paramedic Field Superintendent Rebecca Leis, Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service, administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to June Leslie, a resident of Strathcona Long Term Care in Mount Forest on January 15, 2021.

Guelph, Ont., January 20, 2021– Paramedics with Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service were busy last Friday through Sunday helping Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 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. This is certainly a big undertaking and its one more way our paramedics are giving back to the communities they care for on a daily basis,” says Leanne Swantko, deputy paramedic chief, Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service.

“Now that doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are flowing into our region, it will take a community-wide effort to get the vaccine to our most vulnerable citizens as quickly as possible. I want to thank all members of the GWPS for their role in this vital project,” says Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

About 30 paramedics are trained to administer both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Training included completing an online course and four hours of on-the-job training with public health nurses. Another 20 paramedics will be trained to be ready to provide support for broad vaccination campaigns as more vaccines become available.

Swantko adds that it will take about two months to complete the first and second doses of the vaccine to all long-term care and retirement homes in Guelph and Wellington County and paramedics will continue to support public health.

Since March 2020, the paramedic service has been involved with COVID-19 testing and more recently providing remote patient monitoring of positive cases in vulnerable patients at rural long-term care facilities.

Media contact

Leanne Swantko, Deputy Paramedic Chief
Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service
519-822-1260 extension 2105
[email protected]