Humber River Hospital has opened a new vaccine centre

By Sean Delaney

Humber River Hospital (HRH) has opened a new clinic at 2625 Weston Rd in the Crossroads Plaza, and those who operate the clinic are excited to see the community embrace them. While those advocating for more accessibility are happy to see its presence.

Sudha Kutty of HRH said the hospital has done a high number of vaccines in vaccination clinics, and the benefit she sees is being in the community itself.

“We get a different crowd of people, people taking the bus to come, walking over, a true community feeling,” she said.

The clinic had been operating from the community arena, but with reopenings happening across the province, Kutty said the Downsview Arena wanted to put ice in and get back to programming.

“So, we had to vacate,” she said.

The departure was nice, with a party for arena staff, City of Toronto staff and plaques handed out to recognize efforts. The group had proactively approached Smart Centres, however, and had leased the new unit.

“We’re still in the community, maybe a little bit further out, but we like the ability to make that big space the foot print we needed,” Kutty said.

Kutty said comfort in the winter is also going to be a benefit, as in a previous location, those looking for the vaccine had needed to line up outside. Here, they will be able to create a rope line indoors.

They’re still getting 40 to 50 first doses a day, and “lots” of third doses.

“It’s nice to see the elderly coming back to get boosters. It’s nice for our staff to see that and be a part of that. And now kids are imminent. We’ve set up a child-specific pod for that. We’re excited.”

The clinic has a preparation team that is second to none, Kutty said, offering a variety of vaccines in all the proper doses, carefully measured and monitored.

“We have a team back there very skilled in making sure it’s the right dose, the right vaccine, getting it to the right person. It’s lots of process work that’s done and needs to be done carefully.”

Kutty said another exciting addition initiative is coming soon is in-school clinics for kids so that they and their families will have multiple choices for a place to go.

On November 18th, MPP Tom Rakocevic handed out recognition scrolls. He recognized the excellent vaccination team for its exemplary leadership and tireless efforts.

Ruben Rodriguez, Sudha Kutty, Upasana Saha, Smitha Casper De-Souza, Rohan Gonsalves, Christy McKenna Yeung, Christopher Maragh and Candy Wai Yin Law were among those honoured (as well as some others who were not present).

“An equitable distribution of vaccines is crucial in the fight against COVID-19.” Rakocevic said. “I fought hard to get vaccines for our community, and we became one of the first in all of Ontario to vaccinate those 18-plus. The amazing team at HRH have administered more than 300,000 accessible vaccinations in our community at pop-up clinics, door to door in high rise apartments, and much more. I am proud to work with them and honoured to recognize their incredible ongoing efforts.”