SUDBURY -- With more people in the north eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Gerry McCroy Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury has been converted into a hockey hub-style vaccination clinic.

About 2,000 people will receive the vaccine at the arena Saturday.

“The hockey hub-style of a clinic is based on the premise of getting a lot of people vaccinated in a short period of time,” said Melissa Roney, deputy chief of Greater Sudbury's medical services.

“Countryside is larger, and based on the population and amount of vaccine coming in to Sudbury, we were exploring opportunities to get more people vaccinated in a short period of time.”

Each person set to receive their shot sits in their own individual pod and a nurse will administer the vaccine from the pod.

“We have two immunizers, between nurses and community paramedics. We will be working in teams of two and we will be moving around,” said Karly McGibbon, a public health nurse.

“Normally how it works is the nurse is at a table and the patient goes to them. This time all the clients will be seated and the nurses will be the one walking around with their cart and the nurse will come right to them.”

Officials said other arenas in the city are ready to be converted into vaccination clinics when needed. McGibbon told CTV News when the time comes, both the traditional and hockey hub setup will be used.

“Our plan is to keep both models going -- the smaller model is good, as well. Also depending on vaccine supply, this is a great model but if we don’t have 2,000 doses, then it’s a little bit too much,” she said.

“The aim of the game is to get doses in people’s arms as fast as possible and we really think this new setup will allow for that.”

The hockey hub idea comes from the Grey Bruce Health Unit in Owen Sound who were the first to roll it out.