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Council asks for ‘brick and mortar’ vaccination clinic

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The Town of Tillsonburg has asked Southwestern Public Health to identify a location for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Tillsonburg, similar to the region’s two initial clinics that opened March 15 in St. Thomas and Woodstock.

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In a resolution put forward on March 22, council asked that a clinic be made a priority to ensure all citizens have equitable and accessible opportunities to the COVID-19 vaccine in light of transportation, financial and health barriers associated with having to travel to another community to receive the vaccination.

Noting it will offer its support in getting a Tillsonburg clinic running, town council asked that it be operational “as soon as logistically possible.”

“We know that you (Mayor Stephen Molnar) have been working very hard behind the scenes to make this happen, and that there is a mobile clinic coming to Tillsonburg, although it’s unclear when,” said Coun. Deb Gilvesy, who introduced the resolution.

“Although this motion is moved by myself and seconded by councillor (Chris) Parker, this really is a formal request from the citizens of the town, and recognizing the need – the outpouring of phone calls, emails, inquiries that we have all received,” said Gilvesy. “This really is a resolution for the citizens.”

“The way that it is set up right now, with citizens having to take a four-hour bus trip or pay $120 for a taxi ride there if they don’t have somebody to drive them, it’s unacceptable,” said Parker. “I know that you (Mayor Steve Molnar) have been working as hard as you can to try to get Southwestern Public Health to have a location here. It would be good to have a facility set up so that our people can feel confident and know where they are going to be going to get their vaccinations.

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“The pace that we are on right now in Southwestern Public Health for vaccinations is very slow compared to other health units,” Parker added, “and I know that its due to a lack of vaccine in our health unit, but we’re trailing behind. And as many needles as we can get in arms to get people back to normal, I’m all for it.”

Molnar said he supported the resolution and putting it on record on behalf of council and the municipality.

“The opportunity for equitable and a system that’s working with integrity, is that we all, I believe, understand that we’re partners in this,” he said. “I don’t think anyone wants more, but we certainly don’t expect any less. Whether that’s timely access or geographical access, I think that’s what we’re working in partnership with, and will continue to do. The Town of Tillsonburg remains active in their demonstration that we’re ready to support any partnered solutions.

“We have run things in the past and we are prepared to reach out and be partners on how best they can be facilitated in the future,” Molnar concluded.

The resolution carried.

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