Vaccination 'drive': Paramedics roll out Middlesex-London's first drive-thru clinic
LONDON, ONT. -- A first-of-it’s-kind vaccination clinic aiming to serve the hard to reach population of industrial shift workers popped up in northeast London Thursday.
Just after 6 a.m., Middlesex-London Paramedic Services (MLPS) began administering 300 shots of the Moderna vaccine at the region’s first drive-thru clinic.
“Workers on the night shift, they’re stopping here on their way home to get vaccine,” explained MLPS’s Miranda Bothwell.
“It’s amazing, we’re all one big team.”
The pop-up format did not require an appointment, an advantage for shift workers who find it difficult to attend scheduled times at mass vaccination clinics.
“I work 12 hour shifts, so it’s hard, so this is perfect for me,” said Donald Carmichael after receiving his first dose.
The more contagious delta-variant is about to become the dominant strain in Ontario, so the race to double vaccinate people against COVID-19 is shifting into high gear.
“We have to look at alternatives to ensure those who need shots can get them. It’s about bringing the vaccine to the people,” explained Middlesex County Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson as she watched the steady procession of cars.
“The first drive through clinic in Middlesex-London should be celebrated,” she added.
The drive-thru took place in the parking lot of Cargill on Cuddy Boulevard.
Drivers had to wait 15 minutes in their vehicles before leaving.
It was a centralized location for workers in the industrial park, and symbolic of the chicken processing plant’s recovery from a serious outbreak.
In April, the plant was temporarily closed.
The Middlesex London Health Unit confirmed 116 cases of COVID-19 among the 900 employees of the plant.
On Thursday, Kyle Galloway walked from the plant to get his second dose.
“You don’t have to wait as long for the appointment times, (and) you are coming here anyways,” he said.
Middlesex County will review the drive-thru format as it plans future pop-up vaccination clinics.