Mobile vaccine team getting COVID-19 shots to rural Lambton

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Heather Wright/The Independent

Lambton’s mobile vaccine team is certainly getting around.

After making sure about 1,500 people in long term care and retirement homes were protected against COVID-19, the mobile crew has been on the road, putting needles in the arms of seniors and soon farmers and teachers.

Jennifer Beaubien is the Superintendent of Family Services at Lambton Public Health. She heads up the mobile unit.

Wednesday, she and the team were at one of three planned ‘pop-up clinics’ at the Brigden Fairgrounds. The team was in Corunna March 26 and will be at the Brooke-Inwood-Alvinston Community Centre April 14 for clinics which are booked solid.

Beaubien says farmers were notified by the Lambton Federation of Agriculture they could now register for a vaccine as essential workers. Farmers, who aren’t yet on the field, jumped at the chance, filling 245 appointments at both the Brigden and the Alvinston clinics.

But the team has also been busy at local seniors apartments, including the Lambtonian in Petrolia where any senior who wanted a vaccine was able to receive one in the lobby of their building April 1.

The group will be back in Petrolia Monday working with Lambton County Developmental Services and St. Francis House to vaccinate the people in their community living homes.
Beaubien says LCDS will bring the residents to their Petrolia office for the vaccination. Without the mobile clinic, Beaubien says LCDS would have spent a lot of time shuttling people to clinics in Petrolia.

Lambton Public Health is trying to bring the vaccine to those who simply can’t get to a mass vaccination site.

“Transportation is a barrier for many,” she says. The mobile clinics are “easier” for some of the most vulnerable people but it is “not possible to do it for everyone.”

Meantime, three Lambton pharmacies are among those who will now be offering COVID-19 vaccines.

The province is expanding the program to 350 pharmacies across the province including Bright’s Grove Family Pharmacy, The Real Canadian Superstore Pharmacy in Sarnia and the Forest Pharmasave Pharmacy.

There are also clinics in nearby Dresden. Check the list here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

Anyone over 55 can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine by booking an appointment at the three pharmacies.

Provincial officials hope to have 1,500 pharmacies with clinics by the end of April.