RVH partners with local pharmacy to get more needles in arms

April 23, 2021

Sheila Kemp 

Sheila Kemp, Aikenhead’s Pharmacy Renfrew, reports for her first shift helping out at the RVH COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic on April 22.

Many hands make light work and that’s what Sheila Kemp was hoping for when she signed up to help at the Renfrew Victoria Hospital vaccination clinic.

The owner of Aikenhead’s Pharmacy in Renfrew, Kemp was disappointed that her store was not able to procure and administer COVID-19 vaccine, so she and three other pharmacists and two certified pharmacy technologists who work there offered their services in whatever capacity would help at the RVH clinic.

“We felt helpless not having vaccine in our pharmacy to help with the efforts,” shares Kemp. “We need to get vaccine into arms as fast as possible, so whatever we can to do make that happen, we’re ready to help.”

The pilot partnership between the RVH COVID-19 vaccination clinic and Aikenhead’s Pharmacy may be followed by similar collaborations as the vaccination volume increases over time—an indication of the ongoing community support RVH is very grateful to receive.

The Town of Renfrew, Renfrew County District Health Unit, County of Renfrew Paramedics, the tenants of 100 Health Village Lane who have accommodated the clinic in their space, local and retired physicians, staff and volunteers are among those supporting the clinic.

Chris Ferguson, RVH VP of Patient Services, is thrilled with the latest partnership. “It’s great to have participation from the community and have extra hands on deck to support RVH staff, physicians and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to run the clinic. We couldn’t have picked a better partner to work with and we look forward to working with others in the community as time goes on.”

Thursday April 22 was a night for firsts, as Kemp took her first shift in the role of ‘flow coordinator’ at the vaccination centre which was running its first AstraZeneca clinic. More than 140 people 40 years of age and older were booked to roll up their sleeves over four hours.

All upcoming appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be booked through participating pharmacies until further notice, as primary care providers are awaiting more supply from the provincial government.

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For more information, please contact:
Julia Boudreau, CEO,
Renfrew Victoria Hospital & St. Francis Memorial Hospital
613-432-4851, ext. 260