Doctors will administer 300 COVID-19 vaccinations at drive-thru clinic

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The Richardson Stadium parking lot is set to become a pop-up vaccination clinic on Wednesday evening.

Twenty-five primary care physicians, nurses and medical secretaries will administer 300 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic from 5 to 8 p.m.

Dr. Elaine Ma, a Kingston primary care physician who helped to organize the clinic, said that another 200 doses were to be administered at pop-up vaccine clinics in Napanee, Verona and Amherstview.

No more appointments were available as of Tuesday morning.

Ma said that a drive-thru model had been used successfully for administering flu shots in the past.

“We believe it to be more efficient and better access for anyone with any sort of mobility issues,” she said.

Appointments in Kingston were available through a website, but for the clinics in Napanee, Verona and Amherstview, Ma said doctors were contacting eligible patients directly.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health contacted the local doctors with the available doses on Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve been in co-ordination with public health the whole way along, and they’ve been a great partner to work with,” Ma said. “Basically the whole idea is needles in arms, and there’s a multi-faceted approach. When (public health medical officer of health) Kieran Moore approached us and said, ‘I’ve got this AstraZeneca coming and it’s to go to primary care,’ because we know the lineups are long and lots of people are wanting it, we decided a more co-ordinated approach made sense.”


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The drive-thru clinic on Wednesday will be a good trial for yet another vaccine delivery method to have on hand when more vaccines become available, in addition to permanent vaccine clinics, pharmacies, primary care settings and mobile clinics.

“We’re hoping that at some point there’s going to be copious vaccine supply and we’re going to need all different methods to be used,” Ma said.

Bringing a drive-thru model into the local vaccine rollout helps boost availability and accessibility for when supplies increase.

“If we got told tomorrow there were 10,000 vaccines coming in, we actually have the capacity through a drive-thru to do up to 10,000,” she said.

“We all want as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as vaccine is available. We don’t want vaccine in fridges or freezers. We want it in arms. That is the step that we will take to get our lives back to pre-pandemic ways.”

Ma believes primary care physicians and staff have the advantage for connecting vaccines with those who need it, in that doctors know their patients.

“If people are hesitant at all, they trust us, because we have those relationships built with them. We also know their underlying medical issues and their family medical issues intimately,” Ma said.

Ma acknowledges the frustration many are feeling at the lack of available appointments.

“I completely empathize with them and would encourage them to be patient, to keep waiting and recognize that we want them to get their shot, too,” she said. “As soon as we have vaccine available, we will absolutely get it to them.”

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