KINCARDINE, ONT. -- The Grey-Bruce Health Unit believes its 'hockey hub' mass vaccination centre plan sets the standard for the most efficient way to vaccinate people against COVID-19.

“It’s an approach that will lower the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and would ensure the vaccination of more people with a shorter period of time,” says Grey-Bruce’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra.

Arra says a typical mass immunization could vaccinate between 1,000 to 1,500 people a day.

The Grey-Bruce model, which involves vaccinators moving from patient to patient, not the other way around, could vaccinate 4,000 to 4,500 a day.

“We could reach 90 patients vaccinated per hour by one vaccinator, that’s another layer of efficiency,” says Arra.

He says typical immunization models reach 10 to 15 patients per vaccinator, per hour.

Grey-Bruce’s hockey hub model is set up in Owen Sound, Kincardine and Hanover, and can run “full-tilt” when enough vaccine arrives.

So far, the arena-based sites are being used on a weekly basis, along with 30 other smaller clinics.

“There’s been many things about this pandemic that have been tragic, but to see people’s responses, the creativity, the innovation in these hubs. We’re just proud to be a part of it, in the Municipality of Kincardine,” says Kincardine’s Mayor, Anne Eadie.

With 15,000 vaccines in residents' arms so far, Arra says other communities in Ontario and beyond are interested in Grey-Bruce’s hockey hub model.

“The Government of Manitoba, their officials have reached out to us, and we sent them our blueprint. And, they’ve been impressed to say the least,” says Arra.