Pop-up clinics a shot at breaking down vaccination barriers in Windsor-Essex

·2 min read
Dr. Magbule Doko teamed up with Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky to offer a downtown pop-up COVID-19 clinic on Saturday.  (Dr. Magbule Doko via Twitter - image credit)
Dr. Magbule Doko teamed up with Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky to offer a downtown pop-up COVID-19 clinic on Saturday. (Dr. Magbule Doko via Twitter - image credit)

Pop-up clinics are popping up in Windsor-Essex with the goal of ensuring no one is left behind in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Over the weekend, more than 130 doses were administered at an outdoor pop-up clinic in the downtown. Of those doses, 70 were given to people who had not yet received a shot.

"We had a good turnout, and a lot of first doses," said one of the organizers, Dr. Magbule Doko, who is among about 60 primary care providers in Windsor-Essex who have been provided with a COVID-19 vaccine supply.

Pop-up clinics are intended to break down barriers that prevent people from getting the vaccine. No appointments or OHIP cards were required at the clinic on Saturday. Volunteers helped translate and businesses brought food.

About a third of the people who received shots Saturday said they don't have access to email or a phone.

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky helped organize Saturday's clinic and was on site for the event. According to Gretzky, the pop-up strategy is a crucial tool to ensure everyone gets vaccine access.

"I think that that's what we're going to see. I really hope that's what we're going to see, because many of the individuals that came to the clinic that we hosted downtown had barriers to access the vaccines."

Hotspot coverage lower than average

As of Tuesday, 64.7 per cent of Windsor-Essex residents, including children who are not yet eligible, have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

But the vaccination rate varies according to factors such as age and location. In the downtown area where postal codes start with N9A, vaccine coverage is significantly lower, at 51.9 per cent.

In the earlier stages of the vaccination rollout, seven Windsor-Essex postal codes including N9A were designated COVID-19 hotspots and given priority access to vaccination based on their vulnerability.

But within those hotspots, coverage remains lower than average, at 58.6 per cent.

Downtown clinic operating Tuesday

On Tuesday, a clinic is taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot at the corner of Bruce Avenue and University Avenue.

It's hosted by Erie Shores HealthCare and Essex-Windsor EMS Community Response and Stabilization Team, in collaboration with the High Priority Community Initiative, which is being led by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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