Advertisement

‘Hoping for it’: Multiple vaccination clinics in Durham open for priority populations

Click to play video: 'Vaccination clinics open in Durham' Vaccination clinics open in Durham
WATCH: Multiple vaccination clinics have officially opened in Durham. Residents age 80 and over can now sign up to get their COVID-19 vaccination – Mar 10, 2021

Multiple vaccination clinics have officially opened in Durham, which means residents who are aged 80 and over can now get immunized against COVID-19.

“I’ve been kind of hoping for it,” said Jim Boyle who was first in line to be vaccinated at Pickering’s Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Centre.

Boyle says he’s relieved to finally get some protection against the virus.

In addition to the Pickering site, vaccination clinics in Oshawa and Clarington also opened Tuesday. The region says once all eight vaccination clinics are up and running, the goal will be to immunize 10,000 people a day. Information on when other clinics will be opening can be found on the Durham Region website.

Read more: Coronavirus: Durham announces vaccine rollout plan with goal of 10K doses administered per day

Story continues below advertisement

Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham’s medical officer of health, says staff have been preparing for weeks to open immunization clinics.

“(It was) a massive undertaking. We have quite a number of people in place,” he said.

“It has involved 10s, if not 20s, 30s … I’m probably underestimating the number of people who have been involved.”

Upon entering the Pickering site, visitors will be screened and will be asked to provide ID and confirm their appointment. They will then receive their shot. Staff say the entire process should take about 20 minutes.

“If you’re feeling unwell we’ll definitely monitor you for a little bit longer,” said Durham public health nurse Kaylee Rockett.

“If you are the one in a million person who has an anaphylactic reaction we are equipped at every clinic to deal with that.”

Watch: Durham residents eager to get COVID-19 vaccine

Visitors are asked to arrive no more than five minutes before their appointment time.

When asked about staffing levels and limitations of only having one of three Canadian-approved vaccines, Dr. Kyle said he’s confident the region will maintain sufficient resources to maximize its vaccine rollout efficiency.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s a pressure point, but we’re confident we will be fully staffed and we will be optimizing our performance as the pieces fall into place.”

Click to play video: 'Ipsos poll finds 69% would take COVID-19 vaccination without hesitation' Ipsos poll finds 69% would take COVID-19 vaccination without hesitation
Ipsos poll finds 69% would take COVID-19 vaccination without hesitation – Mar 9, 2021

He adds staff are only able to book appointments for as far in advance as supply will last before the next allocation, which he estimates is one to two weeks. The region is expected to get shipments of the Moderna vaccine in the coming weeks.

However, despite a rigorous online and in-person screening process, there are concerns around ineligible or non-priority populations lying to cut the queue.

Ontario’s implementation of an honour system will allow those with underlying health conditions to get their vaccinations early, no matter their age. Bioethicist Kerry Bowman says there is a “significant risk” people could take advantage of the system.

Story continues below advertisement

“We need to stress that it’s morally wrong to misrepresent your health status to get ahead of the queue. You’re causing harm to other people by doing that,” he said.

Read more: Proof of pre-existing illness not required for COVID-19 shot, Ontario health minister says

“There are some [people] where you say there is an ethical issue that will really get it, and there’s going to be a smaller amount of people that say they don’t even care.”

For his part, Bowman hopes this won’t be the case.

When asked if queue-jumping was a concern, Dr. Kyle said, “We’re going to have to figure that out, aren’t we.”

“That’s Phase 2. I’m focused on Phase 1. We want to get our 80-plus-year-olds vaccinated and continue with our priority health-care workers.”

Click to play video: 'Canada’s top doctor discusses COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals following NACI recommendations' Canada’s top doctor discusses COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals following NACI recommendations
Canada’s top doctor discusses COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals following NACI recommendations – Mar 9, 2021

Sponsored content