Vaccine appointments still available this weekend at Bingemans; walk-ins for first and second doses accepted

Thousands of COVID-19 vaccine appointments are still available this weekend in Waterloo Region at the Bingemans' Hockey Hub mass vaccination clinic.

Public health officials are aiming to dole out more than 20,000 jabs this weekend alone at the new pop-up site as part of the "Every Dose Counts" event.

"Do not miss an opportunity to get vaccinated this weekend," Dept. Chief Shirley Hilton, lead of the region's vaccine task force, said at a weekly COVID-19 briefing.

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to receive a first or second dose at the new location. Youth 12 to 17 will be given the Pfizer vaccine, and those 18 and older will be given Moderna. Appointments can be booked online.

Everyone in Ontario is currently eligible to receive a second dose at an earlier interval of 28 days. Those who received AstraZeneca as a first dose must wait eight weeks.

Walk-ins are being accepted for both first and second doses at the Hockey Hub this weekend.

This is our one-of-a-kind chance #WatReg, to take back summer! Get vaccinated this weekend at @Bingemans Conference Centre.

Walk-ins for first AND eligible second doses, or book an appt if you don’t want to wait in line: https://t.co/3uiq1vPdBq

✅12+ Pfizer, 18+ Moderna pic.twitter.com/ut5t13Q3qm

— Region of Waterloo (@RegionWaterloo) July 9, 2021

Those who have a second-dose appointment booked for later in the summer are urged to reschedule for this weekend. Health officials are also stressing that all mRNA vaccines are interchangeable.

Hilton said the Hockey Hub clinic will be reassessed after this weekend to determine if it will continue.

"Things are changing so rapidly, and we have ramped up capacity very quickly," she said. "If we continue to vaccinate at our current rate, everyone who is willing and able should receive their second dose by the end of July."

The push to get more doses into arms comes as Waterloo Region is set to enter Step 2 of the provincial reopening framework on Monday, with a move to Step 3 likely coming next Friday.

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE TO BINGEMANS

The Region of Waterloo is offering a free shuttle bus service this weekend to help residents get to the Bingemans Conference Centre, located at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive.

The shuttle will run from 6:40 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, connecting Central Station at King and Victoria Streets to Bingemans.

Trip will depart from Central Station every 20 minutes, at :00, :20 and :40 past the hour.

Return trips from Bingemans back to Central Station will depart at :05, :25 and :45 past the hour.