Over 1,000 people immunized at Bingemans drive thru vaccination centre

Waterloo Region’s first drive thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic saw 1,000 people immunized on Sunday.

The event at Bingemans in Kitchener came after the region had the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the province several times during the week.

The clinic runs by appointment only for second doses, but people needing a first dose can walk or drive in without booking.

Jennifer Harley got her second shot and says she’s excited to be fully immunized.

“I feel like my summer can start,” she said. “I’m excited to hug my friends and family.”

Jim Kufske also got his second shot, and had his granddaughter in the back seat getting hers at the clinic that’s open for anyone 12 and older.

“You don’t have to find a parking place or stand in line and then go inside the building,” he said. “This is really cool.”

There were 500 appointments at the start of the day, but the region added 300 more due to how well it was moving.

“Our cases are high, it’s something we take very seriously,” said Karen Redman, Region of Waterloo Chair. “People getting their first and second shots in these next several days is so key now, just so we can move on to step two, but also so we can contain this Delta variant.”

As of Friday, almost 80 per cent of adults in Waterloo Region received at least one dose of the vaccine and almost 40 per cent have received two doses.

The region says they plan to continue to ramp up vaccines in the coming weeks with increased capacity and extended hours at clinics.