What Islanders should know about P.E.I.'s COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics

·2 min read

P.E.I.'s two mass vaccination clinics began operations this week.

The COVID-19 clinics are located at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown and the Holland College campus in Summerside. They will be taking over for clinics that have been operating out of the Sherwood Business Centre and the County Fair Mall, respectively.

Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief nursing officer, said the reason for the site change is because P.E.I. now has more vaccines available.

"We needed additional space, and we want to get it out as quickly as possible to Islanders," she said.

The additional space is to allow for social distancing. Both mass clinics were expected to see up to 300 appointments on the first day, and Dowling said she expected the mass clinics will allow for up to 1,500 people to be vaccinated per day across P.E.I., depending on vaccine supply.

Islanders with appointments should arrive at the mass clinic with their health card, if they have one. Islanders only need to arrive about five minutes ahead of their appointment, because if too many people arrive early it could result in overcrowding, Dowling said.

"We're not seeing a lot of hesitancy toward getting the vaccine on P.E.I., which is excellent," she said. "(But) we don't want people coming too far in advance."

Islanders are permitted to bring a support person if needed, and the signage was designed to be as clear as possible for those who have difficulty seeing. Staff and volunteers will be on-hand to assist, and both mass clinics are in fully accessible buildings.

Upon arrival, Islanders will be asked COVID-19 screening questions, then register and wait to receive the vaccine at one of 12 stations. After they receive the vaccine, they will wait in another section for up to 15 minutes to be monitored, then they'll be able to leave.

Dowling said she anticipates the entire process will take about 30 minutes based on the results of past clinics.

"We want people to be comfortable coming to a larger setting. It's really the same as our other clinics," she said. "It's just on a larger volume."

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Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian