Local vaccination centres may close in a week if vaccine shipments don’t arrive

GUELPH – The local health unit may have to temporarily close its COVID-19 vaccination centres in a week’s time due a shortage of vaccines.

In an interview on March 12, Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), said there is enough supply to fill appointments next week – the week of March 14 to 20.

But by March 22, unless a shipment arrives, there will be no vaccine to give.

“Next week we’re okay for the vaccine, but the next week, we will have to cancel,” she said.

“We just don’t have enough vaccine.”

Public health is running vaccination centres in Fergus, Orangeville and from its headquarters in Guelph and has been working with community partners to open new vaccination hubs.

Mercer said the University of Guelph is opening a vaccination centre on campus on Monday, the Guelph Family Health Team is ready to begin vaccinating the population it serves and the City of Guelph is preparing to open a centre at the West End Recreation Centre.

Linamar, a large employer in the city, has been operating a vaccination centre for about a week.

Mercer said she hopes this will be a temporary setback.

Having to ramp down is not good, but the system is designed to ramp up quickly as soon as shipments arrive, she noted.

Supply issues “are often beyond the control of the province,” she said.

As of March 12, public health reports that 18,414 people have been vaccinated and 24,911 doses have been administered.