Editorial – EOHU clinics well run

Eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic nearly 80 per cent of people in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region have received one dose of a vaccine. Even in younger age groups like people age 20-29, first dose vaccinations are nearly at 50 per cent, and for those between 12 and 19 years old, 36 per cent have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The need to get vaccines into anyone that wants them is great. More vaccines in arms in the quickest amount of time will ensure mutations like the Delta variant will not take hold and cause a fourth wave. The quicker people have two-dose vaccinations, the quicker restrictions will ease and we can return to our normal activities again. For most people in the region, those vaccines have been given at immunization clinics run by the EOHU.

From Morrisburg to Hawkesbury, Embrun to Cornwall, and many points in between, the EOHU is operating as many clinics as it can get vaccine supply for. Every week that there is increased supply, there are more appointments at clinics and more doses in residents’ arms.

Outside of consistent vaccine supply, the real success of COVID-19 vaccinations can be credited to the efficient operation of these clinics.

From the volunteers who direct traffic and ensure safety, to the staff who check-in, administer, and monitor people who have received vaccines, the entire operation runs like a Swiss watch.

Case in point, rarely are people in line more than 10 minutes before a needle reaches their arm. In less than 30 minutes, people are in and out. That is not just hearsay. Every person working for The Leader has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at clinics spread out across the EOHU region, and all report the same success.

Unlike some areas of the province where clinics are struggling with vaccine hesitancy, that is not an issue here. If there are doses left over for the day, EOHU staff are working to find people from the standby list to ensure no dose goes to waste.

The success of the EOHU COVID-19 vaccination clinics proves both the need for public health programming, and its continued funding well after the pandemic is declared over.

Not every part of the pandemic response from the EOHU has been perfect, nothing about the COVID-19 pandemic is. But from the point of view of administering vaccines into arms, one cannot ask for much more than the great work and dedication from the staff and volunteers in EOHU clinics.

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