Rotarians have long been involved in supporting the vaccinations of people against polio.  Now, many across Niagara are helping in the fight against Covid-19.  In March of 2021, when Niagara Region Public Health put out a call for volunteers to assist in supporting the Covid 19 mass immunization clinics, Rotarians were among the nearly 300 people who responded.  This large group of volunteers represents a diverse group of people in Niagara.  Many are retired health care professionals and educators.  Others are retired professionals from numerous fields.  Some work full time and still find time to volunteer  and many are young post-secondary students interested in public health.  All however, have a desire to be involved in supporting the push to get Niagara residents vaccinated. 
 
The Niagara Region Public Health mass immunization clinics take place in a variety of local community centres and YMCA facilities throughout the Region.  The clinic is taking place in Pelham at the Meridian Community Centre from May 16th to 22nd before moving to Port Colborne and West Lincoln.  At the Pelham clinics there will be nearly 2000 appointments per day for eligible cohorts.
 
In each community, the local Fire Department staff often assist in numerous ways to support their local community. 
 
Clinics are staffed by Niagara Region Public Health nurses and other Niagara Region staff many of whom are redeployed from their regular jobs.  Additionally, the Niagara Region has hired and trained staff specifically to support the process of screening and registering clients. 
 
Clinics run every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 7:30 pm with the final appointments normally at 6 p.m.   Doses of the vaccine are carefully monitored and counted all day long to ensure that all doses delivered to a clinic are used.  Should there be extra doses towards the end of the day, the staff quickly call people on the standby list to come in to get their shot.  As of May 14th, the Niagara Region Public Health had administered 74,000 doses of vaccine.  This complements the doses administered by the Niagara Health system, pharmacies and primary care physicians bringing the total number of Niagara residents vaccinated to just over 215,000. 
 
The Niagara Region Public Health volunteers are an essential component of the team that makes the clinics efficient.  Their role is to assist in the general flow of clients through all stages of the clinic.  This group of supportive and responsive individuals welcome, direct and support clients at each stage of the process.  They explain what to expect, and work hard to ensure that all clients have a great vaccination experience.  The smiling happy face signs they use help to set a tone of celebration.  All the volunteers speak to the sense of fulfilment and joy they get in helping “Stick it to Covid”. 
 
For more information regarding the Niagara Region Public Health covid vaccination plan, including upcoming clinics and eligibilty please refer to the following link.
 
Links