Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo region's COVID-19 vaccination clinic will now run 7 days a week

Waterloo region’s vaccination clinic at Grand River Hospital is increasing operations after the province slowed down vaccination roll out over the holidays.

Grand River Hospital clinic will now operate seven days a week and on holidays

Public health says it is vaccinating health care professionals. (Submitted by Cheryl Evans/Grand River Hospital)

Waterloo region's vaccination clinic at Grand River Hospital is increasing operations after the province slowed down vaccination roll out over the holidays.

The local clinic shut down between Dec. 25 and 28, shortly after receiving its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine. That was a direction from the province, citing staffing concerns, according to a hospital spokesperson. 

The clinic will now open seven days a week, including statutory holidays. It had previously planned to operate five days a week.

As a result, the hospital put a call out for paid volunteer health care professionals to help staff the clinic.

"We reached out to nursing students, primary care in Waterloo region, and our own nursing staff at the hospital," said Cheryl Evans, manager of communications and engagement at the hospital.

"It has been wildly successful. We have more people than we need. It's amazing and incredible," she added.

1,000 health care workers vaccinated

The hospital said this is a great example of the support and partnership it has seen throughout the pandemic.

The plan is to vaccinate between 300 and 400 people a day. Public health said the priority is long-term care staff, high-risk retirement home staff and essential caregivers.

Between Dec. 22 and Dec. 31 more than 1,000 health care workers were vaccinated, said Region of Waterloo Public Health. 

A second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine is expected in January, along with the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine, though a statement from public health said supplies of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be limited.

Public health also said the region's COVID-19 Distribution Task Force is looking at opening additional vaccine clinic locations as more doses become available.

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