KAWARTHA LAKES: The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) will be closing their COVID-19 mass immunization sites next month.
“After what feels like many months; it has been many months, of supporting the fixed-site mass-immunization-clinics in Cobourg, Campbellford, Fenelon Falls and Minden. Those clinics will be closing after September 3rd,” local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Natalie Bocking announced, at a virtual press conference on Wednesday, August 11th. “September 3rd will be the last day those clinics operate in their current format.”
However, the medical officer of health clarified, this does not mean the health unit will stop providing COVID-19 vaccines to the public.
“I’ve spoken previously about how we are transitioning away from this fixed site model, which brings people to that clinic, to a more targeted, strategic, mobile clinics [and] popup clinics [model], bringing vaccines out to people. Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll see we’ll have more mobile clinics and popup clinics.”
Dr. Bocking then explained why this decision was made.
“I think those [fixed] clinics have served their purpose very well. We’ve seen tens of thousands of people receive their vaccinations through there. We have seen over the last couple of weeks a very significant decline in attendance at the clinics. It makes sense, at this point in time, to redirect health unit resources to taking vaccines out to people,” she said.
COVID-19 vaccines can also still be received through pharmacies and some primary care practices.
A press release from HKPR stated, “nearly 80 percent of residents ages 12 years and older in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose” and “a little over 71 percent of local residents age 12 [and up] have received both doses.”
Recently, Ross Memorial Hospital announced they will be closing the drive-through vaccination clinic at the Lindsay Exhibition grounds (LEX) on Friday, August 27th.
Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper