TBM administers 5.4K vaccines over Christmas, more clinics set for this week

·3 min read

The Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) is hosting its second week of COVID-19 vaccination clinics since the holidays began.

First, second, and third doses are being administered on a walk-in and appointment basis at the Beaver Valley Community Centre, including vaccinations for children between five and 11 years old.

The second round of clinics are running on Dec. 29, Dec. 31, and Jan. 3, and they were set up to supplement vaccinations taking place at the Blue Mountains Community Health Centre.

Between the health centre and the community centre, 5,484 vaccines were administered between Dec. 18 and Dec. 27.

TBM Mayor Alar Soever said he has found the community response encouraging.

“People are very informed in The Blue Mountains … and the immunity is waning from the first and second shot, so people are keen to get their third shots and protect themselves,” he said.

The holiday clinics were specifically set up to provide locals with more options, as the community hubs offering vaccination clinics are outside of TBM.

“The community hubs are some distance away,” he said. “The ones that are going to be up in January are in Chesley, Port Elgin, and Owen Sound, so the closest one is 45 minutes away. People, especially the elderly, are rather loath to drive to a strange community.”

Instead of making people travel, TBM council offered the community centre as a space, in order to increase local options for vaccination.

“Over Christmas … at the Blue Mountains Community Health Centre, the demand was beyond capacity,” said Councillor Andrea Matrosovs. “We were able to provide an extension by granting this space and making it a part of the system to be able to open it up.”

Matrosovs said that the holiday clinics have been an empowering experience for everyone involved.

“This is very empowering,” she said. “We get such positive feedback from the volunteers too, because you really do see that we're coming up with a solution.”

“We’ve got a problem, but we’ve got an answer, and that feels really good.”

A number of volunteers have stepped forward to make the clinics happen, including active and retired doctors and nurses, as well as community members.

“We’ve had people who have come up here for vacation for two weeks, three weeks, they've come and volunteered to help us,” said Melody Fox, nurse practitioner. “It’s been amazing.”

“It’s not just a one-person story – it’s about all of us coming together and there’s been great leadership.”

In addition to the community-run clinics, Dr. Tim Remillard is administering vaccines daily at the Blue Mountains Community Health Centre.

“I've worked with him since March, and he's been relentless in terms of his efforts,” Fox said. “We worked Christmas Day and Boxing Day immunizing people this past weekend.”

Residents looking to book a vaccination in TBM can do so here.

Additionally, residents may visit or call The Blue Mountains Public Library at (519) 599-3681 for assistance booking a vaccination.

People interested in volunteering for the clinics may reach out to TBM community services at csadmin@thebluemountains.ca.

Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting