Mass vaccination clinics opening in Durham

·2 min read

Durham Region’s medical officer of health says the region is in “very good shape” with vaccine distribution and administration.

In a recent update to the region’s health and social services committee, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle says clinics opening Monday, all those ages 80 and older can now book their appointment to be vaccinated, noting the vast majority of seniors living in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes in Durham Region, as well as most healthcare workers, have been vaccinated.

“We were tasked by the government to develop a plan that when fully operational, will allow vaccination of approximately 10,000 clients per day,” says Kyle, noting there will be at least one clinic in each of the eight municipalities.

As of Monday, March 8, two clinics will be open: Durham College and Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, and the other in Pickering.

“The staging of the opening dates (of the other clinics is) a sign that we are ramping up, staffing up,” he adds.

According to the Durham Region Health website, The Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex in Clarington will open on Tuesday, March 9, followed by the opening of the McKinney Centre in Whitby on Monday, March 15. Uxbridge Arena, Scugog Arena and Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre Arena will open on a rotating basis beginning March 15.

Finally, the Audley Recreation Centre in Ajax will open on Tuesday, March 16.

The mobile clinic will also continue to vaccinate additional Phase 1 populations as required, Kyle notes.

However, he says the region can’t get too far ahead of the vaccine supply.

“While I say the maximum capacity is 10,000 clients per day, the number of clinic sites and available appointments will depend on vaccine supply,” Kyle continues.

Furthermore, Kyle says the region’s communications plan is “robust” and has been developed to “promote vaccine awareness, accurate evidence, informed information, and timely and accurate information.”

“We’re building on key messages from the Ministry of Health and the go-to place for all things COVID vaccine is durham.ca/covidvaccines,” he says, noting the website is updated on an ongoing basis.

Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express