Collingwood Today article published March 14, 2021
While the term drive-thru usually refers to a coffee run, in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, it's also the method of delivery for vaccines against COVID-19.
Just like the coffee chains, you arrive to the local drive-thru clinics and check-in to confirm your (pre-booked) order – one dose please. At the next stop you hand over the paperwork and get a quick needle in the arm. Then you pull ahead and wait 15 minutes before you're clear to head home.
"The only thing you don't get is a coffee at the end of it," joked Gaynor Edwards, clinical director for Georgian Bay Family Health Team (GBFHT), and one of the organizers for the drive-thru clinics.
Here's a video of the whole process:
Each location – one at the Collingwood Legion and one at the Wasaga Beach Rec Plex – operates in partnership between the Georgian Bay Family Health Team and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. They were originally set up as COVID-19 assessment centres for swab testing, and still operate under that role when they're not being used as vaccine clinics.
Edwards said it's a very different inside the tents when staff are running vaccine clinics instead of test sites.
"The mood has lifted enormously," said Edwards. "The people coming through are really happy to be here. The mood has lifted for all of us – patients and providers."
Vaccine supply is limited right now and the clinics are being run as supply is available. Waiting lists are full and it's tough to get an appointment, even for those who fit the limited eligibility criteria.
"We're looking forward to more and more vaccine and a process that will enable us to ramp up to the fullest capacity," said Edwards. "I think there is a lot of frustration that certain groups in the community aren't getting vaccinated yet, but I think we all want to just put out to everybody that it is coming, it's coming quickly and hopefully – maybe by the end of June – everybody will have received a first vaccine who wants it. That's certainly what we're hoping for."
Vaccine appointments can only be made by following the online or phone booking process set up by the province. You can find information on eligibility and registering for an appointment on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website here.
Please note, you cannot book an appointment through your doctor's office or through the Georgian Bay Family Health Team at this time.