by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark Health Unit region continues to lead the province in Covid-19 vaccinations. Public Health Ontario has stated that 78% of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
This success is, in a large part, due to the Vaccination Centre at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan is among those working hard to keep the Kemptville Vaccination Centre running smoothly, efficiently, and effectively. Walk-in vaccinations are usually available, and Doreen notes that patients are now being offered a choice between Pfizer and Moderna.
Councillor O’Sullivan is a registered nurse who works part time at the Ottawa Hospital. She explains that when she ran for Council, her platform was “for a safe and healthy community.” Though she explains that she always felt North Grenville was that kind of community, especially when considered in comparison to others, this could always be improved. She strongly believes that “where you live is a social determinant of your health.”
As such, she accepted an additional contract with the Vaccination Centre. She says: “I’m a believer in public health and a believer in community health, primary care, and this is where you start, by vaccinating people.”
As more and more people are vaccinated, and restrictions ease up, it still remains absolutely crucial for everyone who can to get vaccinated. Doreen explained that “having been vaccinated, if you do contract COVID, it’s a milder case. Hospitalizations are minimal.” Even with the new Delta variant, those who have received both of their vaccines are displaying much milder symptoms than those who have not.
“I really can’t stress enough how important it is to get the vaccine. You’ve got to trust the research from the experts, not Dr. Google. And you know, I remember the polio vaccine. I got the polio vaccine. Or think of measles, mumps, chicken pox, diphtheria, or tetanus. These are things that we’ve eradicated, or have very much under control, because of immunizations. Get vaccinated, people. It will protect you, your family, and your business.”
The numbers show that most of the community understands this, and Doreen has noted that people coming into the clinic for their vaccine often seem excited to be vaccinated. “Sometimes I would have people come in, at something like six o’clock on a Saturday night, and they would just seem like a couple acting as if it was date night. You know, they sat together, got their vaccinations, and discussed getting food after. It’s very exciting.”
Keep up the great work North Grenville. Let’s aim to see those numbers close to 100% by the end of the month!