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Library Staff Support Vaccination Rollout Across Waterloo Region

Updated: 
Monday, March 8, 2021 - 9:15am

(Cross-posted from Region of Waterloo News and Public Notices)

Waterloo Region – Adults 80 years of age and older, who have pre-registered for the COVID-19 vaccine, will be getting a phone call in the coming days and weeks from the staff of one of our local library systems to book their vaccination appointment.

Staff of Kitchener Public Library, Waterloo Public Library, Idea Exchange (Cambridge), and Region of Waterloo Library (serving the townships) have offered to navigate the online appointment system so everyone in our vulnerable older population – who has indicated a phone call is their preferred way to be contacted – is booked for their immunization.

This week, Waterloo Region began vaccinating the 80 and older age group, alongside health care workers, as part of Phase One of the rollout of the vaccine. Older adults are at higher risk for severe illness than younger populations which is why they have been prioritized for immunization.

Also to support the vaccine rollout in our rural communities, the staff of Region of Waterloo Libraries have been involved in community outreach and volunteer orientation. During these unprecedented times, the library staff of all Waterloo Region libraries have continued to provide the essential community support that so many residents rely on.

“The Waterloo Region Vaccination Distribution Task Force is incredibly grateful for the support of the staff of our local library systems who are helping us reach out to residents 80 and older who have pre-registered for the vaccine,” said Shirley Hilton, Deputy Chief for Waterloo Region Police Service and head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force. “We’re delighted that they can bring good news to older adults that it’s their turn to get the vaccine, and book their appointment.”

Residents who have questions can call the Service First Call Centre at 519-575-4400. Please do not call the libraries directly about COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Adults 80 and older can still pre-register for the vaccine in one of two ways:

Everyone who is vaccinated, including adults 80 and older, should continue to follow public health guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. This includes wearing a face mask and practicing physical distancing.

Quotations:

“Libraries have an intimate understanding of how access to technology can be a real barrier to service, which is why we reached out to see how we can support the vaccine rollout. Since many residents already rely on library resources and assistance to navigate government documents, having our staff help with booking appointments is a natural fit. We are proud to support Waterloo Region Public Health, the vaccine rollout team and our community in this way.” – Mary Chevreau, CEO, Kitchener Public Library

“Region of Waterloo Library staff are delighted to be able to help with the vaccine rollout in our community. Once residents of the townships pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine, I am sure it will be nice to have a friendly, familiar voice from the local library call them to book their vaccination appointments. Right now we are focusing on older adults, but we know there are others in our community who may not have access to the internet, and we’re ready to support them all when the time comes.” – Helen Chimirri-Russell, Director, Cultural Services, Region of Waterloo

“We are pleased to work with the Region of Waterloo and our partner libraries to support such an important initiative in our community. Our staff look forward to connecting with and providing assistance to our older adult population.” – Laurie Clarke, CEO, Waterloo Public Library

“As we approach the one year anniversary of closing due to COVID, this is fantastic news for our community. The vaccines are here, distribution is ramping up, and we at Idea Exchange can help connect seniors with the vaccines they need.” – Helen Kelly, CEO, Idea Exchange