Grey Bruce unveils first 'hockey hub' mass vaccination site
HANOVER -- As Grey Bruce gets ready to enter the green zone for pandemic restrictions, one of the 'hockey hub' mass vaccination sites has been unveiled.
Public Health says that using hockey arenas in the area is a model that can be used across the province.
"In Hanover we have one hockey arena and that hockey arena has been sacrificed to respond to this pandemic," said Selwyn Hicks, Grey County Warden. "We're a big hockey community by the way."
A typical large clinic can administer 1,000 vaccines a day, but the Hanover arena facility can accommodate nearly 5,000 shots into the arm for each 10 hour day.
The 5,000 can also be administered by just five healthcare workers, which means for minimal stress on surrounding clinics and hospitals.
"Everything is done by community partners," said Hicks. "Whether it's businesses that are involved or whether it's us as the municipal sector redeploying some of our staff to be able to help with things like traffic control, organization, or registration."
The design of the 'hockey hubs' includes a flow through process where each client sits in one pod for their entire visit. Workers then travel from pod to pod to administer around 90 vaccines an hour.
"It's a paradigm shift," said Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health. "It changes the way we practice medicine, from the patient moving to where the healthcare provider is to the exact opposite.
"We've had a number of calls from various jurisdictions as far as Australia I hear looking at the hockey hub."
The unveiling of the vaccination centre came on the same day the province announce that Grey Bruce is going to the green zone of pandemic restrictions on Monday.
"That's not a surprise," said Dr. Arra. "After the lockdown, our data has been straddling the green and the yellow."
It's unknown yet when the hockey hubs in Kincardine, Owen Sound, and Hanover will see their first vaccines. Dr. Arra is hopeful the province will receive enough shipments for them to begin booking appointments by late March or April.