COVID-19 vaccination clinics now underway in New Tecumseth

·2 min read

We are hopefully on the way to the end of the current pandemic situation as COVID-19 vaccination clinics opened in New Tecumseth this past week.

Clinics at Alliston Memorial Arena and the Tottenham Community Centre were among 13 centres planned in the Simcoe-Muskoka Health District.

The clinics were opened for people age 85 and over, Indigenous people age 55 and over, front line workers, and care givers.

These are deemed the persons most at risk and received priority when the Health District started registering people and assigning times when they could come in and get their shots.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the one used being in this area. This vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective.

People arriving at the clinics received the first dose and will be scheduled to come back to receive the second dose within a specific time period.

Everyone who wants to receive the vaccine must register prior to going to the makeshift clinic. Walk-ins are not allowed.

You can register on-line or by telephone.

The first Tottenham clinic was held on Thursday, March 5, and vaccinated around 370 people.

“We have three main sites for South Simcoe - Alliston, Tottenham, and Bradford,” explained Julie Savaglio, SMDHU clinic manager for South Simcoe. “We'll be sending out mobile teams to catch other groups. For example, tomorrow we'll be going to the senior's apartments at Simcoe Manor to do those residents. Today's clinic is for seniors who are 85 plus, Indigenous population, front line health care workers, and chronic home care recipients. We have a wait list of over 7000 people that we're working on for appointments for next week.”

You may have to wait a little long if you want to get the vaccine. Supplies are already running out.

“Right now the wait list has been closed because we're at capacity,” Ms. Savaglio explained. “We have have more clients than we're going to have vaccines for next week. The province is rolling out a new booking system starting on March 15. For people who want to register all the information in on our website. For people who can't do that, we have phone support as well.”

The Health Unit is currently on “week to week” when it comes to vaccine availability.

After you register and are given an appointment time, you can arrive at a clinic. You will be screened at the door for possible symptoms.

There is a check-in area, a vaccination area, and an after care area where you must wait for 15 minutes as a precaution against things like possible allergic reaction.

The vaccinations are administered by a variety of qualified people including public health nurses, health care providers and even doctors who were at the clinic.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times