City of Lakes FHT part of Sudbury pilot project for AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

April 15, 2021

CTV News Northern Ontario published April 15, 2021

By Alana Everson, CTV News Northern Ontario VideoJournalist

SUDBURY -- There are some new options opening up for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In Sudbury, a family health team is part of a pilot project administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The first vaccination clinic was Monday.

"The province has made arrangements or has chosen the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is a vaccine which is able to stay in a refrigerator for pharmacy and primary care use," said Dr. Tom Crichton, of the City of Lakes Family Health Team.

During its first vaccination clinic, it took 100 people an average of 21 minutes to get their shot, including the mandatory 15 minutes post-vaccination.

"The AstraZeneca vaccine is for patients 55 and older at the moment and because we know patients that are 60 and older can get access to the vaccine at other places right now, we targeted our patients from the age of 55 to 60," said Dave Courtemanche, the executive director of the City of Lakes Family Health Team.

A registered nurse who worked at the clinic and said patients expressed a sense of relief getting it with a team they were familiar with.

"A lot of people that were a little bit hesitant, probably as soon as they found out the family health team was offering, they trust us, they have a relationship with us and if their doctor that they have been seeing for 20-30 years is offering the vaccine to them and asking them to come, they know it's highly recommended and they are more likely to be a part," said Sandy Tegel.

City of Lakes plans to hold more vaccination clinics.

"Absolutely happy to be a part of it," said Crichton. "Looking forward to the hopeful event that there will more of the supply of this vaccine made available to us to run similar events or give these vaccines in other ways, but we are very happy to be participating in a real concrete direct way."

The clinics are dependent on vaccine availability and City of Lakes is urging anyone who is eligible to get it.

"It's almost the equivalent of, you know, you are on the Titanic and you are racing around the ship looking for the best lifeboat. This is a crisis," said Courtemanche.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts said there are currently six primary care settings offering the AstraZeneca vaccine and this is expected to be expanded to more sites as more of the vaccine is received.

 

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