On January 20, the Mississauga City Council held a meeting to discuss the city’s Covid-19 strategy and provide the community with updates on the number of Covid-19 cases in Mississauga.
Among the approved motions is a paid sick leave for workers, initiated by Mayor Bonnie Crombie. This motion is targeted toward low-income individuals who do not have access to paid sick leave and paid vacation. Ward Six Councillor Ron Starr also initiated a motion for the safe reopening of small businesses, including new regulations for big box retailers.
All employees at the Canada Post Gateway plant’s Mississauga facility are now required to be tested, following more than 270 positive cases of Covid-19 at the location this month. On January 27, the Mississauga plant announced that one employee had died from Covid-19 complications, prompting employees to follow self-isolation procedures and the plant to initiate rapid testing initiatives.
Given the size and magnitude of the plant, the community is advised to expect shipping delays.
Following the delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments to Canada, Ontario’s Ministry of Health has instructed William Osler Health System and Trillium Health Partners to halt all new administrations of the Pfzier vaccine until enough second doses are in supply for those who have already received the first dose. The delay follows production shortage at the Pfizer Belgium plant as it undergoes renovations in order to increase production capabilities.
Peel region also announced that essential workers and seniors, who are eligible for the vaccine as part of Ontario’s Phase One vaccination schedule, may have to wait longer than initially expected due to the delay.
“We remain focused on administering second doses as planned of the vaccine to long-term-care and retirement home health-care workers, as well as [Trillium Health Partners] patient-facing staff,” said Trillium spokesperson Stacey Brown to The Toronto Star.
William Osler hospitals, who have exclusively been administering the Pzifer-BioNTech vaccine, also released a statement that the hospitals currently have an adequate supply of the vaccine to provide second doses to everyone given the first dose.
According to Pfizer, each vial of the vaccine holds a minimum of five doses, while syringe technique may be able to get six doses. Once opened and used, the vials cannot be refrozen, introducing a game of calculation for doses. Likewise, each Moderna vial provides 10 doses, with precise technique allowing for 11 doses to be squeezed out.
“Unused doses absolutely should not be an afterthought,” stated University of Toronto bioethicist Kerry Brown in an interview with The Toronto Star. “This is a precious commodity and we’re in a health-care crisis.”
The Ministry of Health has encouraged hospitals to take advantage of any extra doses to vaccinate others on site, such as healthcare workers or seniors. Health networks are keeping essential, patient-facing workers at a higher priority on the list, administering any extra doses available to them.
In a press conference held on January 27, Mayor Crombie addressed the downward trend of cases in Mississauga. “The situations at our hospitals, while improving, still remains very serious,” stated Crombie. “We cannot let our guards down, for even a second.”
She also addressed the 38 tickets given to lockdown violators the past week. “While the vast majority of residents are playing their part in helping us get there, there are some people who clearly think the rules don’t apply to them,” continued Crombie. “So many residents have made enormous sacrifices for the collective good—we simply won’t tolerate those who intentionally, and flagrantly break the rules.”
Mayor Crombie encourages citizens to continue to remain vigilant despite the promising trend, as the U.K. variant of Covid-19 continues to pose an additional threat.