The A.J. LaRue Arena is the site for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit [HKPRDHU] vaccination clinic. /DARREN LUM Staff

Haliburton’s mass vaccine clinic to close rather than relocate

By Sue Tiffin

According to a press release from the HKPRDHU titled “Influx of Vaccine Opens More Opportunities for Local Vaccination Appointments,” the mass vaccination clinic at Haliburton’s A.J. LaRue community centre will close later in May.

“The number of people seeing appointments at this location has typically been low,” reads the press release. “With the addition of primary care providers and local pharmacies now offering vaccinations to residents, the health unit will continue with just the one mass immunization clinic at the Minden location.”

As of May 14, 5,023 people had received at least one dose of vaccine at the Minden clinic, while 3,793 people had received at least one dose of vaccine at the Dysart clinic.

As previously reported in the Echo, the A.J. LaRue arena was – on March 18 – the last of six mass vaccine clinics to be announced in the HKPRD health unit region. According to the health unit, approximately 500 people per site per clinic day are being vaccinated.

On March 19, Dysart et al announced that instead of being used as a vaccination site from April 5 to September as initially arranged, the clinic would be cut short on June 12, continuing at an as-yet-unknown location, so that the arena could be used for recreation purposes throughout the summer instead.

The site’s availability as a spot for mass immunization was reduced largely to ensure summer ice is available in the community for user groups and to meet the municipality’s contract with the Haliburton Hockey Haven.

A mass vaccination clinic opened March 16 in Cobourg, March 18 in Lindsay, and April 5 in Fenelon Falls and Campbellford. Minden’s vaccine clinic opened on April 5 and Dysart’s opened April 12.

Four pharmacies in Haliburton – DrugStore Pharmacy in Todd’s Independent, Haliburton Highland Pharmacy, Rexall and Shopper’s Drug Mart – are offering vaccinations, as does the Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team in Haliburton.

In Campbellford, the clinic has moved to the Campbellford and District Curling and Racquet Club on Front Street with the first clinic at the new location scheduled for May 13. Anyone who received their first dose at the Trent Hills Emergency Base will need to go to the new location for their second dose appointment.

Local vaccine supply increasing
After three weeks of mass vaccine clinics in the HKPRDHU region not operating at capacity due to low supply of vaccine, the health unit has been notified more vaccine will be available in the coming weeks.

“We have been hearing from the province for some time that we would be seeing a dramatic increase in the amount of vaccine being sent to us and it appears that time is approaching,” said Bocking in the press release.

“We have asked people to be patient and wait their turn for their chance to get vaccinated. With the province expanding the groups of people eligible to book appointments and the increased deliveries of vaccine the time is now here for more residents to book their appointments to get vaccinated.”