The University of Guelph wall sign is shown in winterThe University of Guelph will house a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus in partnership with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health and the Guelph Family Health Team (GFHT).

The clinic is part of a robust, cross-organizational community vaccination plan unveiled today by WDG Public Health.

Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO of WDG Public Health, said the plan will be implemented as soon as additional vaccine doses become available.

The U of G vaccination centre, to be located in the University Centre, will be one of two partner-led immunization clinics planned for the Guelph region.

Public Health-led clinics will be located in Guelph, Orangeville and Centre Wellington, and mobile clinics will administer vaccines to target rural communities and vulnerable populations.

The U of G clinic and all Public Health-led and partner-led clinics will follow provincial direction and local decision making for vaccine prioritization.

“I’m grateful to the University of Guelph for joining the region-wide effort to vaccinate as many people against COVID-19 as quickly as possible,” Mercer said.

“Without their commitment – and that of partners across Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph – this vaccination program simply could not be possible.”

WDG Public Health says the goal is to vaccinate at least 75 per cent of the population aged 16 years and over against COVID-19 by early August 2021.

“The University is proud to be part of this important partnership,” said U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates. “We look forward to working together to help ensure the health and safety of the University and the broader Guelph community.”

The U of G clinic could be operating by March 1, depending on vaccine availability. It will be capable of vaccinating up to 2,000 people a day. It will be staffed by members of the GFHT in partnership with U of G’s Student Health Services.

“A healthy Guelph community means a healthier U of G community,” said Sharmilla Rasheed, U of G’s vice-president (finance and operations). “This vaccination clinic will be an important component of our ongoing plans and efforts for a gradual and safe return to learning and working on campus.”

Ross Kirkconnell, executive director of the Guelph Family Health, added: “The doctors and staff of the Guelph Family Health Team are pleased to collaborate with our community as we launch this important work. Our COVID-19 journey has been long and difficult. The opportunity to help everyone to get vaccinated is a critical step in helping all of us to move forward.”

More information is available on the WDG Public Health web page; the University will provide more details as they become available.