Four vaccination clinics will open in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark next week as the local health unit continues its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The fixed clinics will be located at the assessment centres in Brockville, Kemptville, and Almonte, with a new location in Smiths Falls, the local health unit announced in a statement on Friday.
The fixed locations will be supplemented by the mobile vaccination units and the health unit promises pop-up sites, too, once vaccine supplies allow.
“With vaccine supply stabilizing in the coming weeks, we will be working hard to increase our access points to the vaccine,” health unit officials said in the statement.
The shots will be given out based on the strict priority list developed by Ontario Health.
The health unit promises to let people know when it’s time to get their shot and where to go through a widespread publicity campaign.
But it cautions that the timing of the vaccinations will be affected by the availability of vaccine.
If the supply is uncertain, as it has been this month, the rollout will be slower. But if the vaccine supplies stabilize, as they are expected to do in March, the health unit says it is ready to go full bore with the vaccination program.
The first people on the list, residents in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes, now have their first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, allowing the health unit to work its way down the priority list.
Next, the health unit plans to get the second dose into the arms of those vulnerable residents and start on the homes’ staff and essential workers.
It will then turn to hospital patients who are about to be discharged into long-term care, retirement homes or other seniors’ residences.
The health unit then will start vaccinating health-care workers based on a priority system established by the province.
Indigenous adults in remote and other high-risk communities are next in line for their shots, followed by residents, staff and caregivers at retirement homes and other group care settings.
Finally, the health unit will reach the general population starting with adults 80 years and older.
Other health-care workers and adults in chronic home care will follow, according to the priority list.
When the fixed clinics are able to open to a wider population, starting with those residents aged 80 and older, the health unit says booking instructions will be announced on its website, through social media, radio and newspaper ads, organizations and health-care providers.
The health unit also plans to continue with its mobile units that would visit group living facilities and go out to residents who can’t get to the fixed vaccine clinics. The health unit will also provide vaccine in pop-up clinics when there is significant vaccine for the general public.
The health unit says the clinics are a combined effort from public health and many health-care providers in the communities.