Guelph CHC Rolling Out Mobile Low-Barrier Vaccine Clinics

Despite the enormous efforts being made to vaccinate everyone in the region, it’s not always easy for people to drop everything and show up at an appointed time and place to get a shot. Considering that many of these people are the ones who are most in need of a vaccine shot – people with health and mobility issues, and essential workers – it’s even more important they get one. Don’t worry, help may be coming to a neighbourhood near you.

The Guelph Community Health Centre is teaming up with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and other community organizations to use 14 mobile clinics to delivery up to 700 vaccine doses to priority populations in the city.

“As a health equity organization, Guelph CHC strives to meet people where they are at, and that has been our approach with the clinics we have delivered so far,” says Navjot Thandi, strategy and QI manager for Guelph CHC. “We have worked with partners to ensure people feel comfortable getting the vaccine, and that any questions or other barriers they may have are addressed in a way that feels welcoming and accessible.”

According to Guelph CHC, the largest mobile clinic they’ve had so far delivered 385 doses of vaccine to the Onward Willow Community in the west end of the city. With a large population of high-risk workers as well as a high number of new immigrants to Canada, Onward Willow was a logical place to take a clinic, and a logical place to show off partnerships with groups like Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington. The Onward Willow clinic offered interpreters to people for who either did not speak English or for whom English is not their first language.

Community Health said that they’ve also had to create clinics that accommodate Indigenous traditions, or to meet people at temporary shelters, or to help those dealing with complex medical issues. According to Thandi, the vaccine rollout has been another area where we’ve learned in the last year that one-size does not fit all in healthcare.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on health inequity, and the importance of everyone having access to health care services, including those that meet our community’s vaccination goals,” Thandi said. “We want to identify what barriers are preventing community members from accessing vaccines, and work together with the community so that we can co-design services that help overcome barriers.”

As of Friday morning, at least one dose of one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines have been given to 64.3 pr cent of the region’s population, with 5.4 per cent of residents now being completely vaccinated having received two doses. Over 17,000 shots were given out in the region in just the last week alone.

In other vaccine news, the Ontario government announced Friday that they plan on accelerating the rollout of second doses with people over 70 being eligible for their next shots starting this coming Monday, June 7. The government says that they’re expecting to receive approximately 4.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in June, plus another 3.54 million doses in July, for over 8 million total doses. So far, Ontario has handed out almost 9.7 million total shots of COVID-19 vaccines.

To learn more about the Guelph CHC mobile vaccine clinic, you can call their vaccination line at 519-821-6638 extension 140.

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