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Gates & Town team up with Public Health to promote Crystal Beach pop-up clinic

Submitted by Ryan Donnelly

Aug 19th, 2021 VOL. 2 ISSUE 26

As vaccination rates begin to slow in Niagara, MPP Wayne Gates and the Town of Fort Erie partnered with Niagara Region Public Health to promote a pop-up vaccine clinic. The clinic offered no appointment necessary walk-in vaccinations for anyone who was eligible and above the age of 12 and was held at the Crystal Ridge Community Centre on Saturday.    

“We fought hard to ensure that Niagara got its fair share of vaccines, now we have to make sure we use them,” said Wayne Gates, MPP for Fort Erie. “I am happy to work with the Town of Fort Erie and Niagara Region Public Health to make these shots more accessible. Even if you missed this clinic all public health sites are now no appointment needed, first or second shots for those 12 and above. It’s that simple and it will help us save lives in our community. We’re in the final stretch. If you haven’t rebooked your second shot or received your first, now is the time – if you need any help at all, just call my office and we’ll work with Public Health to get you a dose.”  

Gates said the clinic idea came to fruition when his office began receiving complaints about the lack of vaccine accessibility in Fort Erie. In the early days of the pandemic, the lack of vaccine supply restricted the ability to host more frequent clinics, an issue which Gates’ says is now resolved. Gates’ office worked with the Ridgeway Lions and the Town of Fort Erie to secure the Crystal Ridge Community Centre for Public Health who hosted the clinic with their health care workers.    

The Town of Fort Erie also did its part to encourage residents of Fort Erie to visit the clinic. “Pop-up clinics are designed to reduce vaccination barriers for people by eliminating the need to book an appointment or trek across the region to a mass vaccination site,” said Wayne Redekop, Mayor of the Town of Fort Erie. “This new clinic helped us reach more people in Fort Erie by helping them get immunized in a way that works for them. I’m happy to say that we’re making great progress through these additional efforts but we need to keep going.”  

Gates continued to stress the need for residents who have not re-booked their second shots or for those needing first shots to visit any pharmacy or Public Health clinic now offering walk-in availability. “We know there are still thousands of people who are eligible to get their second dose and have not yet rebooked. We’re hoping they take the earliest opportunity to stop by and get that dose. When we look at the provincial numbers it is clear that the vast majority of residents who are being hospitalized are those who are unvaccinated – this vaccine will dramatically reduce your chances of being in the hospital if you are exposed to COVID. As we see what’s happening in the United States we are begging residents to get their vaccines now to avoid a fourth wave in Niagara and to protect those who are immune-compromised,” said Gates. “If you know someone who is eligible please talk to them about the importance of this so we can get one step closer to putting this nightmare behind us.”  

To be eligible, residents must be above the age of 12, have received no vaccine, or be 28 days from receiving their 1st dose of Pfizer or Moderna. If they received AstraZeneca they must be 8 weeks from the date of the initial dose. Those going to a public health clinic are reminded to:    

· Wear a mask  

· Screen yourself for symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re feeling unwell, come visit us another day  

· Take any regular medication  

· Make sure to eat before coming to the vaccination clinic to prevent feeling faint or dizzy while being vaccinated  

· Wear a loose-fitting top or a t-shirt  

· Dress for the weather, as you may need to wait outside  

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