Saugeen Shores turned to innovation and the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) to develop a ‘mini-hub’ for COVID-19 immunization on Saturday (Mar. 13/21) in Port Elgin.
The mini-hub was set up to accommodate those seniors 80 and over who wanted to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Most of those who received their vaccination on Saturday were from Southampton or were ‘orphan’ patients who do not have a family physician. The residents were pre-booked with appointments after being contacted by either their family practitioner or Grey Bruce Health Unit. They entered via the rear entrance to be pre-screened and registered and, after being vaccinated and waiting 15 minutes to ensure no reaction, exited through the front entrance.
“There are 40 seats set up following the distancing protocol,” said Phil Eagleson, Emergency Management Coordinator.
“The mini-hub can provide vaccine to 500 residents per day and, according to Eagleson, the first day was a pilot project. “We would really like to continue with this type of mini-hub for all age groups and it has been really popular with the seniors as they feel comfortable staying in the own community rather than having to travel. When we get to the younger ages, it would also be good to have a local facility as many who work cannot take the time to travel to one of the three major ‘Hockey hubs’,” added Eagleson.
Bruce County paramedics were on-site to deal with any unusual reaction to the vaccination and sterilized each seating area after every patient. “The seniors we have seen are very active and there has been absolutely noone with any reaction,” said Eagleson. “The care, like that of the major ‘Hockey Hubs’ is very patient-centric where once seated they do not have to move as the medical staff bring the vaccine to them on a mobile cart.”
“This has been a real collaboration between the Nuclear Innovation Institute, Grey Bruce Health Unit, Bruce County Paramedics, the doctors and, of course, the Town of Saugeen Shores,” said Eagleson. “All, or most, residents in Saugeen Shores over 80 and who wanted the vaccine will now have received it.”