Southlake Regional Health Centre, in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York and Town of Newmarket, has opened a COVID-19 vaccination centre at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.
Up to 1,000 people each day can receive vaccinations at the Eagle Street facility, a number that could increase as the province's vaccination rollout continues in the weeks and months ahead, according to a Southlake news release today.
The centre is not yet open to the general public.
For now, vaccinations will continue to be administered to hospital staff working at Southlake, Markham Stouffville and Stevenson Memorial hospitals, who are identified as priority in the first phase of the Ontario government program.
Southlake has been vaccinating long-term care workers and essential caregivers since Dec. 23 — they will now receive vaccinations directly administered by York Region Public Health at their long-term care facilities — and began vaccinating hospital staff this week.
As of today, about 3,800 doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to Southlake spokesperson Matt Haggerty. Up to 1,000 vaccinations per day should be occurring by the end of the week.
“Doing our part to ensure this is the largest vaccination campaign this country has ever seen means that Southlake can return to normal business as soon as possible. The more people we vaccinate, the faster we’ll be able to get back to the surgeries we’ve had to postpone as a result of caring for the surging numbers patients with COVID-19," Arden Krystal, president and CEO of Southlake, said in the news release.
Next in line for the doses are health-care workers in community settings and other first responders, as directed by provincial guidelines.
After these groups are vaccinated, the public health unit will lead mass community clinics with the help of Southlake, primary care and other providers.
“We continue to make important progress alongside our partners in quickly and safely vaccinating our frontline health-care workers, including residents and essential caregivers at York Region’s long-term care homes. As more vaccines become available, public health is ready with plans to distribute and administer the vaccine. Every resident in York Region who wishes to receive a vaccine will be offered the opportunity,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region's medical officer of health.
“I think it is critical to support the expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations in our community and it is great to see town staff mobilize so quickly to prepare space for this vaccinations centre," said Newmarket Mayor John Taylor.
The recreation complex offers an ideal location for the clinic with its large space and parking lots, he added.
"This means your family won’t have to wait when it's their turn to get the vaccine,” Taylor said.
You can get Ontario government vaccine updates here.