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Southlake begins to administer COVID-19 vaccines

Wednesday December 23, 2020

  • News & Media

The hospital will initially be providing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to staff working in long-term care homes.

This morning, Robin Dowdall, a PSW at River Glen Haven Long-Term Care Home in Sutton, was the first person to be vaccinated at the Southlake clinic. A protracted COVID-19 outbreak at River Glen Haven in the Spring made this year the most challenging of her 13 at the home. It’s a year she never wants to experience again and makes her eager to get the vaccine.

Later in the day, Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe, Tony Van Bynen, MP, Newmarket-Aurora, and John Taylor, Mayor of Newmarket, visited the vaccination clinic to thank staff for getting the clinic up and running and expanding the distribution of the vaccine.

The clinic is being run with the support of some partners of the Southlake Community Ontario Health Team. Vaccinations are being provided as part of the initial phase of the Ontario government’s vaccination implementation plan.

In keeping with the priority groups identified by the Ontario government, the clinic will initially vaccinate staff working in long-term care homes from across northern York Region, designated family caregivers of long-term care residents and hospital staff. The clinic has been working directly with these organizations to schedule vaccinations.

The clinic is not providing vaccination to the general public at this time. Watch for future updates from the Ontario government and Southlake. To learn more visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario.

Everyone is encouraged to continue adhering to public health measures. Please continue to wear a mask, clean your hands regularly and physically distance from others. Also, please don’t get together with family and friends over the holidays.


“I’m excited to be getting this vaccine. We’ve been waiting for it. We’re a compassionate caring team at River Glen Haven and we’ve been doing everything we can to keep COVID out of the home. By getting the vaccine today, I’m protecting residents at the home, as well as my family, until they are able to get vaccinated themselves.”

–          Robin Dowdall, PSW, River Glen Haven Long-Term Care Home

“It’s an honour to be a part of the largest vaccination campaign this country has ever seen. This vaccine is a turning point and as much as today is about looking forward with hope, it is also an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the partnerships we’ve forged throughout this pandemic. Today is great example of what we can achieve when we work together, across the healthcare system and at every level of government.”

–           Arden Krystal, President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Southlake has gone above and beyond in their efforts to care for patients and families in our community. Watching one of our health care heroes, Robin Dowdall, a personal support worker at River Glen Haven, become the first person in our community to be vaccinated reminds us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light grows brighter with every vaccine administered. Thank you to the teams at Southlake and River Glen Haven for your compassion and commitment to our community, and for being partners in this critical new stage in our fight against COVID-19.”

–          Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora

“We’re excited to continue partnering with Southlake Regional Health Centre as they expand the use of the Seniors’ Centre to now provide COVID-19 vaccinations. The centre offers an ideal location, close to the hospital and centrally located for those long-term care home staff who are being vaccinated in this first phase.

“It’s extremely important for the Town of Newmarket to support the hospital in providing these critical services to protect Newmarket and surrounding communities.”

–          John Taylor, Mayor, Town of Newmarket

“Today is a significant day for our community. Long-term care and frontline workers have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and these vaccinations will protect them, their patients and families as we continue to move forward. Thank you to the team at Southlake for their tireless work and commitment to the safety of our residents. Watching the nurse administer the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine to a member of the River Glen Haven staff is something that the community won’t soon forget.”

–          Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe

“I am pleased to see the first COVID-19 vaccines being administered at Southlake Regional Health Centre. Vaccines save lives and are an important tool to end the pandemic. I am proud that all levels of government have worked together as quickly as possible to start to get Canadians vaccinated.”

–          Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora