Durham Regional Chair John Henry says he is “thrilled” to be starting the COVID-19 vaccination process for Durham’s senior residents.
“Vaccinating our most vulnerable senior residents is of the utmost importance,” says Henry, noting while this is hopeful news, it’s “just the first step in the long road ahead of us to vaccinate as many Durham Region residents as possible.”
“The infrastructure laid out during this first phase will be crucial to the further rollout of the vaccine in the near future,” Henry continues, adding residents need to continue to make informed decisions to keep themselves, family, friends, and neighbours safe until the vaccine rollout is completed.
As part of Durham Region Health Department’s recent launch of the #RollUpYourSleevesDurham campaign, Durham residents ages 80 and older can register for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 8.
“We’re very pleased to be offering COVID-19 vaccine to the 80 and older population as outlined in the province’s vaccine distribution plan,” states Durham Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle.
Eligible seniors, those born in 1941 or earlier, can register beginning on March 8 either through the online booking system at www.durham.ca/vaccineappointment, and those unable to book online can contact the Call Centre Booking Line at 1-800-841-2729 to register.
Appointments will begin on Tuesday, March 9 at Garnet B. Recreation Complex in Clarington and at the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex in Pickering.
Kyle notes health department staff will be prepared to move to the next designated priority group as soon as more vaccine is received and the province gives the go ahead to begin additional phases of the vaccination process.
“We ask everyone’s patience as we work through each phase of the plan to help us ensure that everyone in our community has access to COVID-19 vaccine,” he adds.
According to the health department, the Oshawa Clinic site, at Durham College and Ontario Tech University, is currently completing vaccines for health care providers and is expected to transition to those 80 years or older early next week and the community will be notified.
The health department is also planning to offer mobile clinics in the coming weeks to provide vaccines to populations and those who may have difficulty accessing larger clinics.
Furthermore, other locations have been identified by the health department for future community-based vaccination clinics, based on the province’s vaccine distribution implementation plan.
“Locations have been secured in all Durham Region municipalities – providing access to vaccinations in the community where the individual lives,” states the health department.
Clinic locations include Durham College and Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, McKinney Centre in Whitby, Audley Recreation Centre in Ajax, Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex in Pickering, Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex in Clarington, Scugog Arena in Scugog, Uxbridge Arena in Uxbridge, and Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre Arena in Brock.
Access to these vaccination clinics will also be through the online and call centre booking systems.