During March many residents in the western end of Renfrew County and District health region have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 406 in Barry’s Bay. Above: Barry’s Bay vaccination clinic in operation.
Branch 406 Treasurer Mike Poliquin told The Current they were happy to provide the Legion Hall for community use at no charge. He said the building was considered suitable for the purposes as not only was it big enough to provide the necessary distancing but also it had separate doors for entry and exit, and as well as being equipped with accessibility ramps at both ends of the building. Poliquin said Branch 406 volunteers were happy to work with Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) and the St. Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) vaccination teams to ensure all necessary protocols were followed.
At a recent presentation of a Legion donation to St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation, SFMH Chief Operating Officer Greg McLeod said, “We thank [Branch 406] for supplying free of charge the Legion for the vaccination program. That is tremendous. We recognize the impact it has for them on certain events and so forth, but it’s a wonderful location.”
He said, “Just to work with Mike, Heather [Poliquin] and everyone here, it’s just been fantastic. They have been nothing but gracious hosts and understanding and they have been very supportive and helpful in terms of making this work. It’s a complex structure and they’ve donated all of that free of charge.”
Acknowledging that the vaccination clinics have been held twice a week throughout March and will continue until at least Easter, McLeod said, “A lot of the frequency is determined by the availability of vaccine to the whole County.”
Vaccination clinics are being held not just in Barry’s Bay, but also in Arnprior, Deep River, Pembroke and Renfrew. The RCDHU released its sixth update from the RCD COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Committee on March 31 which stated that as of 28 March, there have been 14,127 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the region. See the infographic below.