COVID vaccine clinic appointments filled within hours: health unit

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The first COVID-19 vaccine clinics for people aged 80 years and over start in Timmins and Smooth Rock Falls tomorrow, March 12.

The clinics are for people who were born in 1941 or earlier. The immunization clinics are open by appointment only and no walk-ins will be accepted.

In Timmins, the clinic is located at the Mountjoy Arena and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Smooth Rock Falls, it will be held at the SRF Community Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Another clinic will be held for Indigenous people aged 55 and over on Wednesday, March 17, at the Mountjoy Arena from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) will be administering the Moderna vaccine, which required two doses.

The clinic on Friday is set up to see 10 people every 10 minutes. The whole process, from start to finish, should take about 30 to 40 minutes, said Gary Schelling, PHU’s communications specialist.

Friday, people are asked to honour their time of appointment and not to show up late or ahead of time.

When they enter the arena, they will be asked screening questions regarding their medical condition and travel history. Then, they will take a number and proceed to the registration tables situated on the left from the entrance. At the tables, they will provide their contact information, so that they can be contacted when it’s time for their second dose.

There will be 10 immunization stations, which will be cleaned between each appointment. People will sit in the waiting area and when their number is called, they will be asked to come to one of the stations.

At the station, people will give their consent and receive their shot. After they’re done, they’ll be asked to sit in the post-immunization area for about 15 minutes. Should there be an adverse reaction, there’s a first aid and members of EMS available.

Vaccinations will be given by a variety of healthcare workers including paramedics.

When it’s time to leave, people will go to the checkout stations, where they will be given their vaccination tickets and a sticker.

After registration opened for Friday's clinic, all 400 slots were booked within two hours, Schelling said.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,