Given the significant progress in vaccination rates in the Guelph area, the University of Guelph’s COVID-19 community vaccination clinic is closing and vaccination efforts will shift to the next phase beginning Aug. 6.
The U of G clinic is among several local mass vaccination clinics in the region that will close as part of the next phase of the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health vaccination program.
Public Health and partners will continue to offer smaller clinics in Guelph, Fergus and Orangeville, as well as pop-up clinics throughout the region into the fall.
As well, U of G will continue to provide access to vaccines for students, faculty and staff via the Student Health Clinic and, potentially, campus pop-up clinics.
Since opening March 15, the U of G clinic, located in the University Centre, has given about 81,690 vaccinations, adding to the total of 375,000 doses administered across the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region.
“Years from now, we will look back on this community vaccination clinic as one of the many ways the University of Guelph and the broader community came together to overcome one of the most challenging times in our history,” said U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates. “That same spirit of collaboration and community that fuelled the success of our clinic will ensure our continued success as we emerge from the pandemic.”
When the U of G clinic first opened, Public Health had set a goal to vaccinate at least 75 per cent of the population aged 16 years and older against COVID-19 by early August. To date, more than 80 per cent of people 12 years and up in the region have had a first dose and nearly 70 per cent have already had their second dose.
The U of G clinic has been staffed by members of the Guelph Family Health Team and U of G’s Hospitality Services.
“Thank you to all the teams involved including the Guelph Family Health Team, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and our Hospitality Services for coming together so quickly to get this clinic up and running so we could help ensure our community members have access to vaccines,” said Sharmilla Rasheed, vice-president (finance and operations). “We are very proud we were able to play a role in this important initiative and do our part to fight COVID-19.”
Nearly 380 volunteers have helped operate the clinic since its opening, clocking a total of 6,850 hours while greeting and guiding arrivals, attending parking lots and monitoring clinic flow.
“Any time I have passed through the University Centre, I have seen first-hand the enthusiasm and dedication of our volunteers,” said Yates. “Each volunteer played a significant role in protecting the health and well-being of communities across the region, and I am incredibly grateful for their time and effort.”
To ensure everyone can access a vaccine at a local clinic, all WDG Public Health and partner clinics will accept first or second dose drop-ins at any clinic – no appointment required. Visit the WDG Public Health website (wdgpublichealth.ca/vaccine) for specific drop-in hours. Vaccinations will also still be available through local primary care providers and pharmacies.