In the COVID-19 pandemic, adaptation is key. And for Chatham-Kent, responding to this evolving public-health challenge meant turning its John D Bradley Chatham-Kent Convention Centre into a vaccination clinic.
“We intend to vaccinate a large number of people here, and our main limiting factor will be vaccine supply because we intend to burn through every bit of it very fast,” said Dr. David Colby, a medical officer for the region, upon the clinic’s opening.
The clinic opened in February 2020 in the municipality’s efforts to fast-track its pandemic recovery. It is serviced by a team of medical practitioners and volunteers, with logistical and cleaning support provided by the building’s management team with Compass Group Canada.
“Before the pandemic, the centre was a place that brought people together for meetings, expos, or events. We’ll get back to that one day, but for now, we’re grateful it can still be used to bring people together in a life-changing way,” says Andy Davidson, General Manager. “We’re proud to help out the community in any way we can.”
The clinic is available by appointment only and equipped with the people and resources to vaccinate ten residents every fifteen minutes (pending supply). Since opening, it has played a major role in facilitating Chatham-Kent’s province-leading pandemic response. As of early April, the clinic had administered 26,000 doses, with over a quarter (27 percent) of local residents over the age of 16 receiving their dose. This effectively doubles the national and provincial averages.
In a recent interview with The Herald, Dr. Colby said the mass vaccination site is a critical tool in the community’s safety, noting, “Vaccines work and they’re safe and effective … The more vaccine rolled out, the better everyone will be.”
Eligible Chatham-Kent residents can book themselves and family members for vaccination through the online registration portal at GetYourShot.ca or by calling 519-351-1010.
Canada isn’t out of the woods yet when it comes to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to mass vaccination venues like the one set up in Chatham-Kent’s John D Bradley Chatham-Kent Convention Centre, however, jurisdictions are starting to turn the tide.