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SMH staff among those vaccinated at Southlake’s clinic

January 15, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Southlake Regional Health Centre began administering its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine just before Christmas and now, in this new year, Newmarket’s Ray Twinney Complex has been transformed into a vaccination centre as inoculation efforts ramp up.

Southlake, York Region Public Health and the Town of Newmarket announced the vaccination centre’s opening on January 6. By that time, Southlake had already administered 3,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine with a goal of reaching 1,000 vaccinations per day by January 8.

The newly-opened facility has the capacity to reach this goal in its early stages and has the capability of expanding operations in the weeks and months ahead.

“In keeping with the priority groups identified by the Ontario government, Southlake has been vaccinating staff and designated care providers of long-term care homes since December 23 and began vaccinating hospital staff this week, including those working at Markham Stouffville and Stevenson Memorial Hospitals,” said Southlake. “This will continue to be the focus in the near term.

“Once long-term care and hospital staff have been vaccinated the focus will shift to health care workers in community settings and other first responders, as per provincial guidelines. After these groups are vaccinated, Public Health will lead mass community clinics with the help of Southlake, primary care and other providers as a team effort.”

The vaccination centre will not be open to the general public at this time, but it is anticipated they will be able to do so once these key target groups have been reached.

“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,” said Arden Krystal, President & CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in a statement. “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 of patients with COVID-19. 

“This vaccine is a turning point and as much as today is about looking forward with hope, it is also an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the partnerships we’ve forged throughout this pandemic. Today is another great example of what we can achieve when we work together, across the healthcare system and at every level of government.”

Added Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, “Vaccination is a cornerstone of public health and historically has been one of the most effective ways of reducing the death and disability caused by disease. We continue to make important progress alongside our partners in quickly and safely vaccinating our front-line 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.”

Wayne Emmerson, Chair of the Regional Municipality of York, said he “commended all of the frontline staff and our health system partners on their continued efforts to support the health and wellbeing of our residents and communities.”

By Brock Weir


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