Pop-up vaccine clinic offers COVID-19 shots in Wheatley — a first for the region

·2 min read
300 people are set to receive a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Wheatley on Thursday via a pop-up mobile health clinic. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)
300 people are set to receive a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Wheatley on Thursday via a pop-up mobile health clinic. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine was "easy, peasy" for Richard Salive.

The 75-year-old was one of 300 people who got the shot through a pop-up, drive-thru clinic in Wheatley on Thursday.

"Man, I'm just so happy," Salive said. "I can go out again maybe. It's tough just being at home all of the time."

The mobile clinic, run by staff from Chatham-Kent Public Health, Chatham-Kent Public Health Alliance and local EMS, is the first one that has opened to the general population in the region, the clinic's operation lead Carina Caryn told CBC News.

The team gave out doses of the Moderna vaccine to people, accepting appointments until 6:30 p.m. Thursday. At this time, Caryn said the clinic is a one-day event, but the team will be back to give the same people their second dose.

"[It's] an opportunity to provide access to people," Caryn said. "Meet people where they're at and bring the vaccine to them."

The 300-person limit was one that Caryn said was decided upon as this is a model run and the number seemed like a "manageable" amount.

Richard Salive was one of hundreds to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through a mobile clinic in Wheatley.
Richard Salive was one of hundreds to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through a mobile clinic in Wheatley.(Jacob Barker/CBC)

Once people get their shot, Caryn said they wait 15 minutes in their car to ensure they haven't had a reaction.

"People are happy to be here and happy to be vaccinated," Caryn said.

Holly Yates was another person who received the vaccine on Thursday. She said she's a special education teacher in the region, meaning unlike other classes, hers will resume after the April Break.

Holly Yates is a special education teacher in the region. She says getting the shot is just an added layer of protection.
Holly Yates is a special education teacher in the region. She says getting the shot is just an added layer of protection.(Jacob Barker/CBC)

"It makes me feel a lot safer at school, the kids I work with don't wear masks so it's definitely a level of protection that'll feel really nice," she said.

'Starting on the recovery of our community'

Nurse practitioner and mass vaccination clinic site lead Willi Kirenko was also at the location answering any vaccine questions or concerns.

She said people were mostly asking about whether their medication can mix with the vaccine and asking if it's safe for them based on previous reactions that they've had with injections.

Kirenko said she's "excited" to be at the clinic and "starting on the recovery of our community."

On Thursday, Chatham-Kent reported an increase of five new cases and 37 infections are considered active overall. Throughout the pandemic, 13 residents in the municipality have died after contracting COVID-19.