Nuclear plant employees help prep 'massive' vaccination hub in Peel
WINGHAM, ONT. -- “This one is massive, that we’re putting up in Peel Region, in Brampton,” says one of the Bruce Power employees behind Grey-Bruce’s COVID-19 vaccine 'hockey hubs.'
Bill Whetstone never imagined he’d be spending his winter and spring, and now summer, setting up vaccination centres across Ontario.
But that’s what the supply chain and purchasing specialist at Bruce Power has been doing, along with fellow Bruce Power Site Services Manager Rick McMurray.
“It’s not what we do for a living, that’s for sure. I have a supply chain background, and it ended up they needed some of that expertise, so we got the logistics going. Next thing you know, it was easier to be boots on the ground, so we’ve both become experts in what’s needed from a vaccination program,” says Whetstone, who is also a Municipality of Bluewater councillor.
After setting vaccination records with nearly 4,000 people vaccinated at Hanover’s 'hockey hub' in April, other municipalities took notice of Grey-Bruce’s model, that has vaccinators moving to patients, not the other way around.
Point Edward has a 'hockey Hub,' as do communities in Manitoba. Now, Ontario’s hardest hit region, Peel is opening a 'hockey hub' by month’s end, thanks to the co-operation of Bruce Power and its partners.
“We were able to work with a number of unions and organizations to lend a helping hand to raise some resources. Our collective goal will be, that by the end of the month, we will have set up for Peel Region one of the largest vaccination centres in Canada,” says James Scongack, Bruce Power VP and member of Ontario’s Vaccination Support Council.
The impending arrival of Peel’s 'hockey hub' at the CAA Centre, an NHL-sized rink, means a lot more vaccines will get into a lot more arms, a lot faster, says Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh.
“If you’re doing 20,000 a day, that’s 140,000 a week, that means you’re probably adding another 400,000 to 500,000 people by the end of May, providing everyone does their part,” he says.
For Whetstone and McMurray, setting up COVID-19 vaccination centres, has been an experience to remember.
“Great experience, to be honest,” says Whetstone.
Peel’s 'hockey hub' is expected to be operational by month’s end, if not sooner.