Arenas across the Health Unit’s district will be used as mass immunization clinics when the appropriate time comes.
On Wednesday Dr. Jim Chirico said that arenas in North Bay, Parry-Sound, West Nipissing, Mattawa and Sunridge will all be used as main hubs to administer the vaccine.
Dr. Chirico confirmed that conversations have been on-going with various municipalities to arrange space.
“Dates will be determined as we work through the phases of the vaccine rollout, and based on vaccine supply,” said Dr. Chirico. “For smaller clinics, a smaller hall may be considered within the arena if available.”
Those smaller halls (as well as various areas across the district) will be used for targeted clinics for specific populations such as age or profession with the location being based on the number of individuals who meet the criteria or the targeted population.
“We’re not taking a one size fits all approach but attempting to meet the needs of the groups being immunized,” he said.
Dr. Chirico also confirmed that the Health Unit is exploring various hiring options to increase registered staff that can provide immunizations as part of their scope of practice.
“Conversations have been initiated with a number of community partners to recruit assistance. Many of our primary health care partners have reached out and offered assistance to provide immunization clinics,” said Dr. Chirico.
Along with the health care partners, conversations have also been held between the agency and post-secondary school institutions to explore the option of having students from various programs such as nursing, paramedic and office admin assist the clinics.
The health unit has also identified staff positions that can be deployed to support immunization clinics and without compromising the agency’s ability to continue to provide the public with access to their priority programs.
Though the dates for when these mass immunization clinics will take place are unknown, the Health Unit has shared that it needs to provide the second dose of vaccine to individuals who have already been immunized. Once completed they will start to immunize other priority groups within Phase 1 of the province’s Ethical Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution including the recently added adults aged 80-years-old and over.