Support agency to get seniors in Powassan and Almaguin area to COVID vaccination centres

·3 min read

The Municipality of Powassan may not be able to get seniors 80 years old and older to COVID vaccination clinics, but East Parry Sound Community Support Services can.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has set up vaccination clinics in several regions including North Bay, Sundridge and Parry Sound.

Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac says the municipality offered the health unit vaccine sites in Powassan and Trout Creek.

“Unfortunately logistics don't allow the health unit to have vaccine centres in every community,” McIsaac said.

“We were disappointed but understand the reality of the roll out. It's quite large.”

McIsaac said there would be seniors in both communities who would need the vaccine, but said “the municipality doesn't feel safe at this time to provide rides for people 80 and over to the vaccine centres.”

McIsaac added the municipality doesn't have the number of vehicles it would take in addition to employees to drive seniors either to North Bay or Sundridge for vaccinations.

However Leslie Price, the program coordinator of East Parry Sound Community Support Services, says her agency can help.

Price says seniors needing to go to any of the vaccine clinics in the Community Support Services boundary can call for a ride if they have no other means of getting to one of the centres.

Price says the municipalities of Sundridge and Burk's Falls have already contacted Community Support Services and Price told the Nugget she “assured them we would get people to the clinics.”

Price says seniors can call the office at 1-888-521-0000 or 705-724-6028 for details and to book a ride.

McIsaac says Powassan is also calling CSS to let it know there are seniors who will need rides.

McIsaac hopes everyone in the community “takes advantage of the vaccine."

“COVID is very hard on older people and it's been devastating to people 80 and over. I just want everyone to get vaccinated and become safe. I can't recommend strongly enough that people get their vaccinations. That's the only way we're actually going to control this virus.”

McIsaac says some seniors have called the town hall office thinking they can book the vaccine shots through the municipality.

The mayor says the municipality does not take registrations for the vaccine clinics. All registrations are through the health unit.

He says municipal staff have directed the seniors who called the office to the health unit to book an appointment.

To book an appointment call 1-800-563-2808.

Once you're connected, choose option 5 and follow the voice recording directions.

The health unit is asking for patience in case you don't get through and to try again.

At this time the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is only vaccinating seniors 80 and over years of age.

The local health unit will announce when it's ready to begin vaccinating seniors who are younger than 80 years of age.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget