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COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Waterloo Region may begin closing soon

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With COVID-19 vaccination rates slowly declining locally, the head of Waterloo Region’s vaccination task force says it may be soon to follow other Ontario municipalities in closing mass vaccinations sites.

Mass sites have closed in the Ottawa area and in Grey Bruce and will be closing soon in Mississauga and Kingston.

Read more: Several Ontario mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics ramping down up as focus shifts to smaller sites

“As always, we’re assessing the clinics,” Waterloo Regional Police Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton explained.

“We’re assessing the capacity at the clinics and then the uptake on appointments and then people now with the ability to walk in for a second doses.”

She says they just allowed all clinics to accept walk-ins for first- and second- dose appointments which is something which needs to be accounted for.

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“So we will have to now, because we’ve just opened up second dose walk-in appointments, look at what is that uptake in people walking in and dropping in for their vaccine,” Hilton said.

Over the past week, just under 36,000 vaccinations in the area whereas there were around 64,000 done in the region a week earlier.

“I think as next week rolls around, we will have a better idea of what is happening within our clinics and then start making some strategic decisions around when and we will be closing some of those areas,” Hilton said.

She noted closing the clinics will allow for other options which may reach people who have yet to be vaccinated.

Read more: 16 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death reported in Waterloo Region

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“During our assessment and reassessment, we will be looking at scaling back our clinics and then re-energizing some of our mobile availability and opportunities within the community as well,” the officer explained.

Hilton encouraged people who have second dose appointments coming in the fall to move them up to an earlier date.

“As long as there has been 28 days since the first dose of your Moderna or Pfizer vaccine,” she noted

“Let’s maximize clinic capacity over the summer so that we can achieve the highest vaccination possible.”

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