MPP Jeff Yurek delivering weekend vaccine shots as pharmacist
LONDON, ONT. -- As a pharmacist, Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek has been spending his weekends delivering shots at vaccination clinics in his riding.
When Tony Steyaert, 79 of Tillsonburg showed up at St. Thomas Memorial Centre to get his vaccine, he was shocked to see the Environment Minister was the one delivering his shot.
He didn't care who was putting the needle in his arm after a long wait to finally get vaccinated.
"I've been waiting for this quite a while," says Stewaert who added, "it feels really good".
Pharmacy pilot projects are now complete in select cities across Ontario.
Yurek called them a success.
"The pilot is now complete we'll be going to full rollout across the province," he says.
"Not only pharmacies but when get primary care physicians on board as well it'll speed up process and be well used".
Three pharmacies per health unit will have access to vaccines once the federal government receives more AstraZeneca next week.
As for that vaccine, Ontario Premier Doug Ford took aim Friday at the rollout process.
"We don't have enough vaccine from the Federal Government," says Ford.
"It's a joke. Fifty-fifth in the world. I'm done. Sorry… you know, it's as frustrating as anything.”
Yurek agreed with Ford.
"General Hillier set up a distribution network," he says.
"We have clinics ready to roll, we are not ramped up to max capacity we could do every day. We get 36 per cent of vaccines that come into country, and we need them into Ontario. It’s a frustration, and the premier expressed it well".
The City of Toronto, Ont. is reporting close to 30,000 empty vaccination appointments. Filling those bookings has not been a problem for Southwestern Public Health (SWPH).
"Every spot has been filled and filled quickly," says Jamie Fletcher, program manager of the SWPH COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force.
"We are looking forward to ramping up and as we get quicker more spots will open. We are on target for 1,100 doses everyday our clinics are open, and we have a mobile team delivering doses as well.”
SWPH has received 7,000 doses of vaccine, and by the end of Saturday will have put more than 6,000 in arms.
Yurek says anyone having trouble booking an appointment can contact his office for help.
He adds with demand exceeding supply, he asks for everyone to continue to be patient.