Public Health announces INVISTA Centre as Kingston’s mass vaccination site

Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health has confirmed the INVISTA Centre’s MNP Rink as a venue for mass COVID-19 immunization clinics when adequate vaccine supply arrives in the region.

“The INVISTA Centre has been an integral part of keeping Kingston and area residents healthy and connected for over 10 years,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “We are proud to host the community COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic here and see it as an important step in the community’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The INVISTA Centre is located in the City’s west end, with free parking and a dedicated Kingston Transit bus route. According to KFL&A Public Health, clients by will be vaccinated by appointment only, entering from a separate marked entrance directly across from the south parking lot. Large signage will reportedly direct people to the MNP Rink and vaccine clinic, which will be to the left of the south entrance.

For the duration of the vaccine clinic, the INVISTA Centre will continue to provide municipal services to residents, including access to the health and fitness centre, three NHL-size ice surfaces and hockey pro shop.

In Napanee, clinics will take place at the Strathcona Paper Centre. Between the two sites, Public Health said they’re planning to be able to administer 3,000 immunizations per day. According to KFL&A Public Health, the estimated population of the combined counties in the region was 204,116 in 2016.

“With multiple stakeholders and partners working together, immunizations will proceed using several clinic approaches that will help to meet Ontario’s three-phased COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan,” said a statement from KFL&A Public Health released Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

The province has determined the order in which each priority population will be vaccinated. In phase 1, Public Health said the following groups are the immediate priority for first-dose vaccination:

  • Residents, staff, and essential caregivers of long-term care, high-risk retirement homes, and First Nations elder care homes, and any residents of these settings that have not yet received a first dose of vaccine.
  • Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors.
  • Highest priority health care workers followed by very high priority health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care worker prioritization.
  • Indigenous adults in northern remote and higher risk communities (including on-reserve and urban communities.

The immediate priority groups are followed by the next priority groups for first-dose vaccination.

  • Adults 80 years of age and older.
  • Residents, staff, and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors.
  • Health care workers in the high priority level, and in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care workers prioritization.
  • Adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations.
  • Adult chronic home care recipients.

Public Health said that as vaccine supply increasingly flows from the province, the type of clinic as well as clinic coordination will shift to ensure efficient and sustained vaccination across the region.

“Hospital-based clinics coordinated by Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) and on-site mobile clinics arranged with long-term care and high-risk retirement homes have been effective over the past few weeks in vaccinating our highest risk populations and those who care for them,” said Public Health. “These types of clinics will continue as needed to meet the needs of immediate priority populations in phase 1.”

In addition, on-site vaccine clinics for specific targeted populations and for individuals in rural communities will be coordinated by Kingston Community Health Centre and Family Health Teams in Addington Highlands, and North and Central Frontenac. As well clinics through alternate delivery methods with primary care offices and pharmacies will be accessible for individuals when vaccine supply includes refrigerator stable vaccines.

“Over time, everyone living in KFL&A will have access to free, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines in accordance with Ontario’s vaccination distribution plan,” said Public Health. “Ontario will launch an appointment system in March 2021 to allow the public to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online or by telephone.”

Currently, the appointment booking system is not available, and there is no waiting list for appointments. Public Health said they will notify residents when Ontario launches the appointment booking system.

“Please do not contact any of the clinic sites, your health care provider, or KFL&A Public Health for information on booking COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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