By Jamie Mountain
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
TEMAGAMI – Temagami’s seniors aged 70 and up and priority healthcare workers were some of the latest to receive their first Moderna COVID-19 immunizations.
The Temagami Family Health Team, in conjunction with the Timiskaming Health Unit, hosted a one-day vaccine clinic on March 31 at the Temagami arena.
“The word is it went well,” said Temagami Emergency Control Group member and councillor Barret Leudke.
“The municipality has taken direction from the (Timiskaming) Health Unit. So they’ve asked us to provide a venue and that’s what we did,” he noted in a telephone interview.
Municipalities, he noted, have been “hosting the clinics in arenas, so that worked out well that we had that type of facility. It went relatively smooth from a tactical standpoint.”
Leudke noted that the arena had the space, the floor plan from the health unit “on how to lay everything out,” and Temagami did its best to make certain that everything was in place to host the clinic.
“We got heaters, we did a trial run,” he said.
“We made sure we could heat the building effectively because the arena floor space is what they predominately want because you have to spread people out and maintain that physical distancing and social distancing and having a space for people. After they got the vaccination, they didn’t present any allergic reaction to it and what have you.”
Leudke said that Temagami received about 262 vaccines and 260 residents booked appointments to get immunized.
“All the credit is owed to our staff, our municipal departments that all contributed,” he lauded.
“From our rec department to public works and the administration for organizing and making sure all the planning was done and met the requirements of the health unit. So it went exceptionally well.”
Leudke noted that anybody who was in the 70 and up age group who wanted to get their first round of the vaccine was able to do so on March 31.
He said a second clinic is being planned for later in April, while no firm date has yet been set.
An area that he said the municipality would like to improve on is getting better messaging out to the community so that there’s no confusion as to who can and can’t get the vaccine.
He also noted that there were some residents in younger age categories who tried to show up without appointments to the March 31 clinic but were promptly turned away.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker