Midland mayor urges residents to register, even if vaccine dose isn't immediately available

·2 min read

Council members and staff are encouraging Midland residents to keep trying to register for a COVID-19 shot.

The matter came up during a chief administrative officer update being given to council at its meeting Wednesday.

"Yesterday, we opened the vaccination clinic at our rec centre," said David Denault, talking about the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's (SMDHU) vaccination clinic at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre.

"By all reports, the first day went really well with 228 people being vaccinated. Hopefully, as more vaccines come in, it will continue to happen."

He said residents should go online to the SMDHU website to book an appointment.

Mayor Stewart Strathearn said he had received a call from a resident who was frustrated by what she had been told.

"I had a person phone me yesterday, very frustrated, that their 90-year-old father would have to wait until July 24 to be vaccinated," he said. "They couldn't understand why that was. I tried to explain to them that right now they're ramping up the number of facilities. It will eventually be 16.

"They're also ramping up the number of vaccination stations per facility," added Strathearn. "The scaling up will bring that date closer and closer to present day. Was I correct in telling that individual that?"

Denault said he couldn't speak to the specific circumstances of the resident, but he could suggest a reason for why the timeline was such.

"The province is somewhat limited in the number of vaccines that's available," he said. "As more vaccines become available, I think they're going to open up more spots for those people to get the vaccinations done."

Strathearn added that residents should not be deterred from registering even if given a vaccination date far into the future.

"I just think it's important for people to understand that there are two factors at work here," he said. "One is the capacity of the facilities and the availability of the vaccines, both of which are projected to scale up fairly quickly and hopefully in unison. Make sure you do register, because now you're in the queue and as the capacity increases, you will move closer and closer to a present date."

Coun. Bill Gordon shared an additional resource for residents to use to track their eligibility for the shot.

"It's a COVID service from our MPP Jill Dunlop that you can get a text message alerting you that you're eligible to receive the vaccine," he said.

The Vaccine Distribution Notification Alert can be access online.

Residents can fill out a form on the website to be notified when they're eligible to receive the vaccine. The service is not a substitute for booking a vaccination appointment.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com