Mass immunization clinics: What it will look like in Kawartha Lakes

By Roderick Benns

Mass immunization clinics: What it will look like in Kawartha Lakes
Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting medical officer of health.

As more vaccines get shipped to Kawartha Lakes in the coming weeks and an increasing number of citizens become eligible to get one, what do plans look like here for mass immunization?

According to the plan as it’s written now, the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit is not planning an around-the-clock effort where vaccines are administered 24/7.

The Advocate asked Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting medical officer of health for the local health unit, why it’s not moving toward doing these around the clock?

Based on our mass immunization plan for COVID-19, Gemmill says, the health unit is “looking to establish two mass immunization centres in each of the three counties we serve.” That includes Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County and Northumberland County.

“These would be separate from any clinics being offered through doctors’ offices or through pharmacies. Health-unit led clinics would run on weekdays, weekends and evenings,” he says.

Even to make this level of mass vaccination possible, the health unit is redeploying staff, hiring additional staff and engaging other health care providers to staff these mass immunization centres.

“Our aim is to get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible.”

Given the logistics and planning involved in setting up these centres, says Gemmill, the local health unit will be providing more details in the next week or so to walk the public through the plan.

“We are planning to be consistent with the Province’s direction to provide vaccine seven days a week, with extended hours, but not overnight.”

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