Pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be taking place at the Ongwanada Resource Centre auditorium over the coming weeks.
Ongwanada, an organization where people with developmental disabilities and their families can find support, said the clinics will be for individuals with developmental disabilities living in congregate care settings. Those supported by various agencies in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington, including Ongwanada, Community Living Kingston, Community Living North Frontenac, Community Living Lennox and Addington, Christian Horizons, Sensity and others will be eligible to get the vaccination at their 191 Portsmouth Avenue location.
According to a release from Ongwanada, dated Monday, Mar. 29, 2021, many of the individuals living in congregate care homes are medically fragile or have other vulnerabilities putting them at higher risk of COVID-19, which is why Ongwanada has continually advocated ensuring they are vaccinated as soon as possible.
Ongwanada said by hosting clinics in their auditorium, it will take some of the burden off other vaccine clinics in the region. It is also an opportunity for individuals to come into a space that most are familiar with, and have the vaccine administered by staff that they are familiar with, decreasing the level of stress and anxiety associated with the process of receiving a vaccine, they said.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health, had a tour of the clinic on Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021. When asked how he felt about the clinic, he said that he was honoured the health unit was able to partner with Ongwanada and be able to immunize members of the community who are somewhat more vulnerable or are living in congregate care settings. “To have them vaccinated in the early phase, it just warms my heart. To get them protected as soon as possible, we’ve had close calls with outbreaks in some of the settings and to see them now best protected with vaccine is just remarkable.” he said.
Alastair Lamb, Chief Executive Officer with Ongwanada, echoed Dr. Moore’s sentiment. “These clinics would not be possible if it weren’t for strong advocacy, excellent collaboration with KFL&A Public Health and the phenomenal effort of many staff from both organizations,” he said. “It is wonderful that some of our region’s most vulnerable people are being vaccinated as early as they are”.