Guelph Today article published March 11, 2021
By Kenneth Armstrong, Village Media
A pair of new large vaccination clinics are set to join the Guelph landscape within the next week, one on the University of Guelph campus and the other at SkyJack in the city’s north end.
The clinic at University Centre at U of G will be open to the public and operated by the Guelph Family Health Team, said its executive director Ross Kirkconnell by phone on Wednesday.
That clinic will begin to see about 300 people per day starting on Monday, said Kirkconnell, but once vaccine supply ramps up could expand to see many more.
“We are looking at this as a large site with capacity to do a lot of Guelph residents there,” said Kirkconnell. “We are building it so that it can support up to two-thousand people a day and evenings and weekends will definitely be where we go when we have enough vaccine.”
People seeking vaccines will still need to preregister with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health via its web page.
Doctors, nurses and other members of the Guelph Family Health Team will administer the vaccines, while the U of G is providing the location and some behind-the-scenes logistical help.
“They (U of G) are bringing in student volunteers and other helpers around parking and way finding and all of that,” said Kirkconnell. “They have great facilities — we all know that. So really, it’s been us organizing the clinical side of it and the university doing the logistics of the space and working together all along.”
Kirkconnell said members of the Guelph Family Health Team have been eager to get as many vaccines in arms as possible.
“For our family doctors, they have busy practices but they know this is important. This is a short-term, everybody doing their part. It’s really heartening to see how people have signed up and are stepping up to do this,” said Kirkconnell.
Starting Monday, when someone gets a notification that it is their turn to receive a vaccination they will be given a choice as to which site to go, said Kirkconnell.
On Thursday, Linamar Corporation and Skyjack are launching a Community Vaccination Clinic at 201 Woodlawn Rd. W. that will also be used by the general public.
“I am just so proud of our Vaccination Clinic Team, made up of dedicated people from inside and outside of our company, for the work they have done to launch the clinic in just a few short weeks,” said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz in a press release.
“We could not have achieved that without close collaboration with the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit and a strong unified team. We have created a fantastic partnership here in WDG that is a great example for other communities to follow. Vaccinating our entire population is the single most important factor toward getting back to a normal life and we are proud to play a role in that in our community.”
When the U of G clinic opens on Monday, a total of five active clinics will be servicing Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.
Vaccinating 75 per cent of the people in the region by August will require an all-hands-on-deck approach, said Dr. Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO of WDG Public Health in a press release.
“Linamar’s participation is a key component of this approach and demonstrates the importance of working with partners including our large private corporations to quickly and efficiently reach this goal,” said Mercer.
Guelph Family Health Team has been involved in the fight against COVID-19 from the start, including partnering with Guelph General Hospital to open the local testing centre.
“Ever since we all first heard it on the news, before it was called COVID, we were preparing. This is just part of the work that we need to do,” said Kirkconnell. “We are all just ready to see the end of this and we feel like we can make it happen more quickly if we all step up.”