Mass vaccination plans differ between midwestern Ontario counties
WINGHAM, ONT. -- They’re not here yet, but when there’s enough vaccine for mass vaccinations, health units in midwestern Ontario say they’re ready.
“The Huron-Perth model will rely on the three 'M's. Mass vaccination clinics, mobile clinics, and multiple sites and partners,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, the medical officer of health for Huron and Perth counties.
Klassen says the Huron-Perth model will focus on bringing the vaccine to people, with multiple vaccination sites in arenas, community centres, maybe even Legions, across the region.
“Multiple sites across both counties will ensure geographic reach. Tentative hub locations at this time are Wingham, Clinton, Goderich, Exeter, Listowel, Stratford, St.Marys, Milverton, Mitchell and Seaforth,” says Klassen.
In nearby Grey-Bruce, they’re going with a more centralized model, calling their model the 'Hockey Hub.' They plan to have three large mass vaccination clinics at arenas in Owen Sound, Kincardine and Hanover.
“It would be a large clinic for a free flow to vaccinate up to 4,000 to 5,000-a-day,” says Dr. Ian Arra, Grey-Bruce’s medical officer of health.
Arra says the more centralized 'Hockey Hub' model could vaccinate up to 90 people per hour, where a typical smaller vaccination clinic averages 14 per hour.
“By using the mass vaccination system, both systems, it would be a matter of days, not months,” he says.
Arra thinks Grey-Bruce could vaccinate 140,000 people in 21 days by focusing on the 'Hockey Hub' model, and feels it’s a plan other communities could use across Canada.
“Almost everyone in Canada is near a hockey arena. That makes the 'Hockey Hub' an ideal solution for large-scale immunization, not just locally, but across Canada."
All these mass vaccination plans rely on a steady, stable supply of vaccine, which isn’t possible today, although the hope is it will be in the months to come.