Euchre. Dinner out. A trip to Walt Disney World.?
Now that she has received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, such activities feel one small step closer for Mississauga senior Jackie Campbell – even as the province heads?into a shutdown?amid a third wave of infections.?
The 80-year-old Erin Mills resident recently joined more than 20,000 people who received their first dose at the mass public vaccination clinic hosted on the U of T Mississauga campus.?
Like the rest of the world, Campbell found her usually busy schedule ground to a halt in mid-March 2020 as things everywhere were cancelled due to the global pandemic. Over the past year, she has followed pandemic protocols by staying safely home, venturing out just once a week to grocery shop with her daughters, and treating herself to take-out from Swiss Chalet.?
“But it’s hard when you can’t see the people you like in person,” she says.?
Campbell has used Zoom to keep in touch with her Beta Sigma Phi sorority sisters and PROBUS social club friends, but says she especially misses in-person activities such as euchre and going out to restaurants.?
When the first phase of vaccinations opened to priority groups in Ontario, including seniors 80 years of age and older, Campbell was quick to book an appointment at the Trillium Health Partners (THP) COVID-19 vaccine clinic at U of T Mississauga.?
“My sorority chapter are all signed up to be vaccinated, and my social group has done the same,” she says. “I was looking forward to receiving it, as I think everybody should.”?
Campbell arrived for her March 11 appointment with her daughter, who accompanied her throughout her visit.?
“We were very impressed with how well everything went,” says Campbell, who felt she was in good hands with THP clinic staff who were there to assist with every step of the process.?
After arriving to no lineup – “We walked right in,” she says – Campbell was guided through the welcome and registration area. She chatted with an on-site doctor about issues related to age and medical background before receiving her injection.?
“I think we were there for an hour at the very most,” she says. “The staff were very helpful, and kept it going smoothly.”?
The mass vaccination clinic, which launched March 1, is being run by THP and Peel Public Health?in collaboration with?U of T Mississauga. The clinic complements THP’s ongoing Mississauga Hospital COVID-19 vaccination clinic, operational since December, and forms part of Peel Region’s Community Mass Vaccination Plan.?
THP clinic staff deliver on average, 2,000 doses of the vaccine daily at the site, which operates by appointment only and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays.?
The clinic has implemented a variety of measures to ensure a good experience for all visitors. In addition to accessible parking and visitor drop-off areas, the clinic also offers 20 fully sanitized wheelchairs for patron use and telephone translation services that offer clear communication options.?
Depending on vaccine supply, clinic capacity could grow to administering 4,000 COVID-19 vaccinations per day in subsequent phases.?
“We are delighted to hear from clinic patrons, like Jackie Campbell, who tell us about how safe and easy it is to visit the clinic, and how happy and relieved they are to have received their vaccinations,” says?Alexandra Gillespie, vice-president and principal of U of T Mississauga.?
“The clinic recently delivered its 20,000th?vaccination and is on track to grow this number significantly in the weeks ahead. This milestone success is thanks to the 100-plus people on the ground, and dozens more behind the scenes, who work to ensure a safe and efficient vaccination experience for each visitor to the clinic.?
“UTM is proud to collaborate with THP and Peel Public Health on this important initiative. It is a privilege to work alongside genuine health-care experts in their field on behalf of the public good.”?
“We are grateful to UTM for stepping up and for their partnership at this critical time in the pandemic,” says Dr.?Dante Morra, chief of staff at Trillium Health Partners. “Together, with Peel Public Health and UTM, we’ve been able to set up a best-in-class COVID-19 vaccine clinic that allows us to administer a substantial number of vaccines to residents and, importantly, make significant strides towards ending this pandemic.”?
Campbell reports no after-effects from her shot. “I’m used to needles, so I was fine,” she says.?
But receiving the first dose gives her a measure of relief, and also something to look forward to.?
Campbell left the clinic with a printout of her vaccination information and an appointment to return for her second dose in early July – 16 weeks after the first shot, which is aligned with provincial guidelines.?
Campbell is pragmatic about what comes next.?
“We will still be wearing masks for a while yet, I’m sure,” she says, adding that she’s thinking of adventures that await, including cross-border shopping trips and a postponed three-week trip to Florida.?
“Maybe next spring,” she says. “It’s going to take trust in travelling and everybody – Canadians and Americans – are vaccinated.”?
“Go ahead and do it,” she says. “You shouldn’t think twice about going.”?
Visit the?clinic information page? for hours of operation, directions to campus, parking information and more.?
Visit the clinic information page? for hours of operation, directions to campus, parking information and more.