Tillsonburg Mayor Stephen Molnar recently shared some good news on the COVID-19 vaccination front.
Southwestern Public Health is planning to open a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Tillsonburg that will be operational at some point in April.
“It’s important to be factual, but it’s also important to provide hope,” said Molnar, who learned of the April clinic when researching information for his weekly live-streamed COVID-19 update.
“I realize the amount of planning that goes behind this and that the planning is underway. What partners they plan on using, I don’t know. I know that the municipality has reached out to ensure that they are aware that we are extremely willing partners in any capacity that would expedite the process.”
Molnar said he has contacted local pharmacies, physician offices in Tillsonburg, and the hospital, who have indicated they would also be willing partners to assist in getting vaccine shots in people’s arms.
“Nationally, provincially, and regionally, the demand far exceeds the supply,” he noted. “But the provincial rollout of the vaccinations is based on two primary objectives. Integrity, and its equity. I don’t think anyone here is saying ‘we need more’ or ‘we should be ahead of the line,’ but there should be equitable distribution and availability – and equitable access.”
The introduction of Oxford-Elgin region vaccination clinics began March 15 in its two largest urban centres, Woodstock and St. Thomas, and as Molnar noted, that has not been uncommon in other areas across the province. For example in the Waterloo region, clinics opened in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge, and then later in much smaller Wellesley.
“They wanted to make sure they were operating efficiently, and also have the supply of doses to keep them operating efficiently. Then, when that was determined to be working properly, that additional facilities in some form… would be introduced.
“It’s currently limited by the amount and the type (of vaccination),” said Molnar, noting there has been positive communication with the local health unit on a regular basis to identify the urgent need to “fill some of those gaps” inside the region and particularly, on behalf of the citizens of Tillsonburg.
“I think that message has been heard.
“In large part, from my own perspective, this about the equity and giving hope, eliminating the anxieties and the frustrations that are introduced every morning at 8 a.m. when someone can’t get through. Or they don’t win that ‘lottery’ to get vaccinated the following week, and then they have to start it all over again.
“Ultimately, the people that I’ve talked to – dozens of people – there is a general recognition that knowing when they are going to get vaccinated – and being able to get there – is what they are looking for. And having that locally really eliminates Part 2 of that equation.”