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Ottawa mobile health unit, launched pre-pandemic, now helping with COVID-19 vaccinations

"What was really effective was that you basically didn't have to set up inside," says Wendy Muckle of Ottawa Inner City Health.
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The Ottawa Inner City Health Mobile Clinic. Alex Goudge/ CityNews

A mobile health unit, originally designed to assist Ottawa's most at-risk populations, has been converted to ensure those same residents are able to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

Ottawa Inner City Health, along with other community partners, were provided a fully-equipped medical unit on wheels in January of 2020. But as COVID-19 started to affect the local homeless population and vaccines became available, the unit was re-purposed.

"We went, obviously, to all of the shelters. We went to a lot of the congregate settings for youth," says Ottawa Inner City Health Executive Director Wendy Muckle. "And what was really effective was that you basically didn't have to set up inside."

She says the mobile unit allows for staff to vaccinate everyone in those settings within a matter of hours.

Ottawa Inner City Health has been using the mobile health unit to target those who can not get vaccinated in any other way.

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