COVID-19 Community Vaccine Hub Launching for Long-Term Care Workers and Essential Caregivers Next Week
Sault Ste. Marie, ON – With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccinations on the horizon, local health partners are preparing for roll out at the community level beginning with long-term care workers and essential caregivers next week. Building off of successful collaboration at several joint flu vaccination clinics held in the Fall of 2020 with over 10 partners, the Algoma Ontario Health Team (AOHT) is thrilled to announce that a similar approach will be taken to provide a large-scale accessible clinic to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in the coming weeks. The COVID-19 Community Vaccine Hub will officially launch on March 5, 2021 at the GFL Memorial Gardens, which has been generously donated by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
“Our highest priority at this time is facilitating vaccination for the residents of our community,” says Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano. “We’re pleased to provide a large and accessible venue to enable the safe and efficient distribution of the vaccine.”
With oversight from Algoma Public Health, the Hub will provide a central location for people to get vaccinated. This initiative is being hosted in partnership with local providers trained in administering vaccines, such as physicians, nurses, midwives, paramedics, and other health professionals. Between March 5-7, COVID-19 vaccinations will be administered to long-term care workers and essential caregivers at the Hub. Individuals who are identified as essential caregivers will be contacted individually to book appointments. As additional vaccine supply becomes available, the Hub will expand to provide vaccinations to priority populations, including adults 80 years of age and over, priority healthcare workers, Indigenous adults, and other provincial priority groups, before rolling out to the general population of Sault Ste. Marie in accordance with Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines. Hub partners are also planning mobile health units to reach additional locations and leverage existing infrastructure in the community – ensuring that nobody gets left behind.
“We’ve been hard at work planning and preparing for the equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Dr. Jodie Stewart, CEO of the Algoma District Medical Group and family physician at the Group Health Centre. “The COVID-19 Community Vaccine Hub will be a reliable and effective way to reach a significant group of our residents as one large team sharing resources, capacity, expertise, and support.”
Timing of vaccine rollout continues to depend on supply and priority recipient groups are determined by the province of Ontario. Individuals are asked to talk to their primary healthcare providers or seek out information from Algoma Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage if they have any questions about vaccination. Appointment booking is not available at this time – additional information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
“The AOHT’s mass immunization clinic model is an excellent example of community health partners pooling local resources to immunize residents in a safe and efficient way,” says Dr. Jennifer Loo, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Algoma Public Health.
The AOHT would like to thank all of the partners who are helping bring the COVID-19 Community Vaccine Hub to life:
- Algoma District Medical Group
- Algoma Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic
- Algoma Public Health
- Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH)
- City of Sault Ste. Marie
- Group Health Centre
- Midwives of Algoma
- Northern Ontario School of Medicine
- Sault Area Hospital
- Sault Ste. Marie Paramedic Services
- Superior Family Health Team