DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES/NORTH DURHAM: More information has been released about local COVID-19 vaccination clinics’ plans.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) recently provided dates for when their mass vaccination clinics will begin operating.


The clinic at the Lindsay Exhibition started vaccinating residents 80 years of age and older, on Thursday, March 18th. The Fenelon Falls Community Centre clinic is expected to open the week of April 5th.


“For every clinic, it’s going to be the same thing. [It will be] dependent on vaccine availability,” HKPR acting medical officer of health Dr. Ian Gemmill cautioned, during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, March 17th.


The AstraZeneca vaccine was recently declared safe for people 65 years of age and up by Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.


“They’ve told us now they’ve got enough information from Europe, the U.K., that they can say this vaccine is also useful and protects against hospitalizations, complications and death in the over 65s,” Dr. Gemmill explained.


He added this vaccine makes the process easier for the health unit. “It’s going to make things easier because this vaccine, unlike some of the others, is stable in refrigerators. That’s going to make it easier to use. It will also increase our supply because we have a third vaccine to deal with.”


As of press time, HKPR has administered 13,617 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to local residents. 1,755 residents have received the second dose of the vaccines.


Meanwhile, the Durham Region Health Department has released the schedule for the North Durham vaccine sites.


The Uxbridge Arena clinic will open on March 29th. The Scugog Arena clinic will then open on March 31st. The Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre in Brock Township will be opening on April 3rd.


“These clinics will operate on a rotating basis; every week there will be one clinic scheduled for Brock and two clinics each scheduled for Uxbridge and Scugog. All clinics will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Residents 75 years and older, or who will be turning 75 this year, can begin booking appointments starting at 11 a.m., on March 22nd,” read a press release from the Durham Health Department.