Man in drives seat of car, wearing face mask

Stock photo.

Mckie Pools and Spas offering free
rides to local COVID-19 vaccine clinics

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday March 25, 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations for certain members of the population began at the Pembroke Memorial Centre (PMC) on March 12.

This comes as a relief for many, but not everyone is able to make it on their own to the PMC or subsequent clinics due to mobility and transportation issues.

So Mckie Pools and Spas is offering free transportation to anyone finding it difficult to make it to their vaccination appointment.

“We’ve been lifelong residents of Renfrew County so we know that transportation can be an issue and we are big believers in getting the COVID vaccine,” said business owner Kelley Whitman-McKie. “So we wanted to do what we could to help.” 

Danny’s Taxi, Petawawa Taxi and the Handi Bus are on board to take Petawawa and Pembroke residents to local clinics and then home. McKie Pools and Spas will cover all costs for this.

Residents just need to book their vaccine appointment through the Renfrew County and District COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System on the Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) website and then book a taxi or Handi Bus. There is no need for pre-approval, and it is on the honour system.

“If this is the only way you’ll get a COVID vaccine, then you should call a cab,” said Whitman-McKie. “We aren’t checking on people. Nobody is asking them any questions. We just want them to call who they want and tell them they are getting their vaccine. We just want to get people vaccinated.”

The community has been incredibly supportive of the business, so they want to support the community in return.

“We are like everybody else,” said Whitman-McKie. “We just want to get life back to normal.”

As of March 17, 8,613 doses have been administered at different locations throughout the county. According to the RCDHU, as of March 22, eligible people who can register/book an appointment based on vaccine availability include:
• Retirement home residents (who will be vaccinated in-home by mobile vaccination teams).
• Long-term care and Retirement home essential caregivers.
• Residents in the general population who are 80 years of age and older (born in 1941 or earlier).
• Indigenous residents (on or off-reserve) who were born in 2003 or earlier.
• All health care workers.
• Anyone receiving chronic home care that has been identified by home health care organizations.

Online registrations can be done at, but if a person is not able to register online, they can call the RCDHU at 613-735-9724 or 1-800-267-1097 ext. 200. Please leave one message only with your name and number.