Sudbury's health unit saying goodbye to mass immunization clinics

·4 min read

Public Health Sudbury and Districts announced Tuesday that it will begin winding down mass immunization clinics in favour of a more flexible approach to reach vaccination goals.

Workplaces, community organizations, places of worship and other groups will now be able to request a mobile vaccination team from the health unit to administer first and second doses at their own location.

With more than 80 per cent of Sudbury and districts residents aged 12 and over having received their first dose of the vaccine and over 70 per cent having received their second dose, there is less need for high volume clinics.

Instead, Public Health will use a more targeted approach to reach the population.

“The success of our mass immunization clinics over the last seven months is the direct result of the great collaboration with our partners in hospitals, primary care, congregate settings, community paramedicine and health centres, social services, First Nations, municipal governments, and enforcement agencies, and our dedicated teams of staff, and volunteers,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe.

“We aren’t done yet and we now need to have more precision-focused clinics to offer the approximately 50,000 doses to reach our 90 per cent target. Every little bit helps, and every day we get closer to achieving our goal.”

Last month, the health unit said its goal is to have 90 per cent of those aged 12 and over in Sudbury and districts vaccinated by the end of August.

Since January, when the first vaccine arrived in the area, Public Health has held 265 mass immunization events in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.

In total, the mass clinics have provided 68.3 of all vaccine doses in the area or just over two out of every three doses administered.

The first mass immunization clinic site to close in the health unit’s service area was at the Chapleau Recreation Centre on July 28 after a coverage rate of 100 per cent of eligible residents who received at least one dose was achieved.

Second dose coverage for that area has now reached 85 per cent.

Dr. Sutcliffe said she encourages anyone who is eligible to now fill up the available spots at some of the health unit’s last mass immunization clinics.

“Over the next few weeks, appointments and walk-ins will be welcome at all mass immunization clinics. The last mass immunization clinics for each location in Greater Sudbury will be at the Centennial Community Centre and Arena in Hanmer on Aug. 4, the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex on Aug. 7, and at the Dr. Edgar Leclair Community Centre and Arena in Azilda on Aug. 13,” the health unit said in a release.

“Carmichael Arena in Greater Sudbury will continue to host clinics on Tuesday evenings until the end of August and additional clinics may be scheduled as needed.”

Appointments and walk-ins will be available until the end of August on Tuesdays at Manitoulin Secondary School and on Wednesdays at Espanola High School.

“The last mass immunization clinics in Sudbury East will be held on Aug. 5 at the Alban Community Centre and on Aug. 12 in St. Charles at the St. Charles Community Centre; after which, appointments will be available at Public Health Sudbury and Districts’ Sudbury East office,” the release said.

Community organizations, leaders, employers, or event coordinators can reach out to public health at 705-522-9200 or by emailing PHSD_COVID-19@phsd.ca to book a mobile vaccination team.

“Based on the need, public health will work with organizations to assess the request to determine the feasibility and suitability of a mobile bus clinic, a pop-up clinic, or a mobile vaccination team for the location in question,” said the health unit said.

“Public Health will do its best to accommodate community requests as capacity and timing allow. This approach will help to further reduce barriers for residents and will provide convenient and accessible options for more people to receive their first or second dose.”

To book an appointment for a public health clinic online, visit www.covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or call 705-674-2299. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

Visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics for mobile and pop-up clinic dates, times, and locations.

With primary care providers and pharmacies also providing COVID-19 vaccination, there are still a number of options to get a first or second dose locally.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SudburyStar

Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star

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