COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic opens Feb. 19 at Fergus sportsplex

FERGUS – A COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic will open at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex here on Feb. 19.

The site, which will initially vaccinate “high-risk” groups such as heath care workers, is one of three “hub clinics” that will be operated by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH).

“Only healthcare workers with approved appointments and long-term care and retirement home essential caregivers with approved appointments” can be vaccinated now, public health officials stated.

“Members of the general public cannot attend the clinic at this time.”

Officials say vaccination program partners will communicate instructions when vaccination appointments open up to other residents.

The Fergus clinic will begin with a capacity of 500 doses per day with the ability to scale up to 5,000 doses per day when vaccine supply increases.

The other hub clinics are located at WDGPH offices in Guelph and Orangeville and public health will also offer mobile clinics to reach all areas of the county.

The sites were announced on Feb. 16 as part of public health’s mass vaccination plan, which aims to administer up to 10,000 COVID-19 vaccines per day and have three quarters of the region’s population (16 and above) vaccinated by early August.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to the residents, staff and municipal leaders of Centre Wellington and Wellington County,” stated Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health, in a Feb. 18 press release.

“Without the commitment of staffing, personnel and resources by the county and the township, this clinic would not be possible.”

Warden and Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton said the township and county have committed from the outset of the pandemic to support public health “in any way possible to expedite the vaccine distribution to our residents.”

Linton added, “Staff from the county, township of Centre Wellington and public health are working around the clock as a single team to provide a safe central location for this important initiative.

“Getting all of us vaccinated is what will finally end this pandemic.”

Officials say the sportsplex is “an ideal location for a mass immunization clinic as it combines multiple large indoor spaces with accessibility and excellent parking.”

As of Feb. 17 at 8pm, WDGPH had administered 6,963 first doses and 4,356 second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, for a total of 11,319 doses.

That means 1.7% of the region’s population, aged 16 or older, has been vaccinated – all of them from priority groups such as residents of long-term care and retirement homes and workers at those facilities.

Vaccine doses have been cancelled or delayed in recent weeks due to shipment delays, but Canadian health officials announced this week that those issues may be soon rectified as Pfizer ramps up production.

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WDGPH vaccine delivery information as of the end of the day on Feb. 17. (WDGPH image)