As Kingston deals with the highest COVID-19 case rates in the country, KFL&A Public Health is hosting a series of drive-thru vaccine clinics leading up to and after the holidays. The first was held Saturday at St. Lawrence College.
“We are in a rough situation because of how quickly the omicron variant spreads,” Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Piotr Oglaza said.
With an estimated 5,000 doses expected to be administered, the drive-thru clinic saw cars line up as the day moved on, eventually spilling over from the St. Lawrence College parking lot onto nearby Portsmouth Ave.
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“Volunteers were here at 7:30, people were already drawing vaccines getting ready for the event. I believe the start time was 8:00. So an early morning start, but a lot of people showed up — great turnout,” Dr. Oglaza said.
With Christmas just around the corner, more than one hundred volunteers got into the giving spirit by donating their time to help the clinic run smoothly.
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“We’ve had a number of people volunteer from all different sectors.,” Dr. Elaine Ma said. “Just to say ‘I want to be able to do something active’, just to help. I think it’s been a very positive day both for the people helping and the people receiving their vaccines.”
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With lines as long as they were, hitting the 5,000 dose benchmark was never in doubt.
But the reason there’s such a demand is likely due to the omicron variant and how quickly it’s become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Kingston.
“This is one thing that people can do to protect themselves. People can get that third dose. The third dose is going to provide an additional layer of protection,” Dr. Oglaza said.
The health unit plans to host several more clinics as Christmas nears, including one Monday, Wednesday and then another on Boxing Day.
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