Waterloo Region opening up 20K vaccine appointments this weekend for 'Every Dose Counts' campaign

The Region of Waterloo is opening up about 20,000 additional COVID-19 vaccine appointments as part of the "Every Dose Counts" campaign this weekend.

The extra slots come as the region is set to open its new 'Hockey Hub' mass vaccination clinic at Bingemans on Thursday, with the site being fully operational by the weekend.

“This weekend will provide thousands of additional residents the opportunity to get their first or second dose,” medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said in a release. “I would encourage residents not to delay getting protection from the COVID-19 virus and the highly contagious Delta variant. Plan to get two doses of the vaccine as soon as possible for your best protection.”

Appointments are now available to book for Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. at the new clinic, located at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive in Kitchener. Appointments must be booked online using the Region of Waterloo's booking portal.

Walk-ins are being accepted for first-dose appointments.

The region is also launching a free shuttle bus to help residents get to Bingemans. The bus will depart from Central Station, stop 1474 at King and Victoria Streets, every 30 minutes.

The Bingemans Hockey Hub Clinic will be administering the Moderna vaccine on Saturday and Sunday to anyone 18 and older. Pfizer will be available for youth between the ages of 12 and 17.

Health officials have stressed that all mRNA vaccines are interchangeable for first and second doses. Anyone who has a second dose appointment booked for August or September is urged to reschedule for an earlier date.

“Many residents who book an appointment at Bingemans Conference Centre will be receiving their vaccine through the new Hockey Hub vaccination clinic model that we are introducing to the Region this week,” Shirley Hilton, Deputy Chief for Waterloo regional police and head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force, said in a release. “In an effort to further ramp up the administration of vaccines, we have partnered with Bruce Power to bring an innovative vaccination clinic model to the community.”