Without Highlands volunteers, getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the County may have been a lengthier process.

The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit and Rotary Club of Haliburton thanked some of the estimated 150 County residents who staffed vaccine clinics in 2021 and 2022 at an appreciation night July 5.

The health unit asked Rotarians to spearhead the volunteer effort at its clinics, helping sign people in, providing direction and timing post-vaccine monitoring periods.

Ursula Devolin, president of the Rotary Club of Haliburton, said it initially seemed like a daunting task.

“We’re a community service club, this is the kind of thing we do. But we’ve never tackled something so big that would require so many people. We knew we needed the community to participate.”

The community showed up, she said.

“Not once was I desperate to find a volunteer.”

Kate Hall, with the HKPR’s Haliburton health unit, said “it was wonderful to work with everyone” who volunteered.

She coordinated with Devolin and fellow Rotarian Sally Moore, who headed up the Minden effort.

“We put the call out and asked, you answered the call as you usually do,” Hall said.

‘It was a pretty intense time and process. I just wanted to say thank you so much to everybody for your time and enthusiasm to come out and support your community.”

Pam Stuckless, director of health promotion with the health unit, extended thanks on behalf of the administration team. She said approximately 43,000 people received COVID-19 vaccines in Haliburton.

She said long-term care home staff, pharmacies, primary care physicians, school boards, and community groups all were “instrumental” in administering doses.

Dysart et al mayor Andrea Roberts, who volunteered at the clinics, said helpers were “friendly and welcoming.

“You put these people at ease from the time they entered the A.J. LaRue Arena to the time they left,” she said.