New 'Hockey Hub' mass vaccination clinic opening at Bingemans on Thursday

The new Hockey Hub mass vaccination clinic at Bingemans will open its doors on Thursday, with first and second dose appointments now available to book.

On Tuesday, the Region of Waterloo said its working with Bruce Power and local firefighters to set up the new clinic at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive in Kitchener.

“We’re looking forward to getting this Hockey Hub vaccination clinic model up and running this week,” Shirley Hilton, deputy chief of Waterloo regional police and head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force, said in a release. “Alongside our other vaccination clinics, this innovative vaccination clinic model is going to help us significantly ramp up the administration of doses this month.”

The launch of the Hockey Hub clinic is expected to open up some 20,000 vaccine appointments this week alone.

Health officials will begin administering the Moderna vaccine at the site to Waterloo Region residents 18 and older starting Thursday.

According to a release, staff at the Hockey Hub vaccination centre will trial the new clinic model with only one vaccine type, Moderna, for the first two days.

Appointments are currently available for both Thursday and Friday and can be booked online.

Walk-ins will be accepted for first doses.

Anyone who received either a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine as their first dose is currently eligible to book a second dose at a shortened interval of 28 days. Health officials are urging anyone who has a second dose booked for August or September to rebook an earlier appointment.

Residents are also encouraged to get whichever vaccine is available to them first, with health officials stressing Pfizer and Moderna are interchangeable.

The Hockey Hub vaccination clinic model was developed by the Grey Bruce Public Health unit in partnership with Bruce Power.

In the Hockey Hub model, clients sit in one place and vaccinators and administrators come to them, as opposed to the client moving from one spot to another.

As of Monday, more than 79 per cent of adults in Waterloo Region have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 41 per cent of residents 18 and older are fully immunized.