Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Government of Ontario and Metrolinx have partnered with the construction industry to bring encourage construction workers to receive COVID-19 vaccines on worksites.
Two GO buses have been converted to serve as mobile vaccine clinics as part of the province’s last-mile strategy to target those who have yet to receive a first or second dose.
Starting Sept. 8, GO-VAXX buses will travel to construction sites around the Golden Horseshoe Region every Wednesday. The program is designed for larger construction sites to encourage full vaccination and provide easy access.
GO-VAXX buses are administering the Pfizer vaccine and can vaccinate up to 160 people a day, visiting a few sites in a day.
Each bus operates as a fully functioning vaccine clinic with the necessary supplies and trained staff to assist people and ensure vaccines are administered safely. All COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed on board, including the required pre-vaccination screening and post-vaccination monitoring.
The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) is working with the Ministry of Health to identify the opportunities and book the GO-VAXX bus. If your organization is interested in having the GO-VAXX bus visit your workplace or construction site, don’t hesitate to contact David@ogca.ca to secure a date.
Over 82 per cent of eligible Ontarians aged 12 and over have received one dose of the vaccine and 75 per cent have received both doses.
The last mile strategy was launched to encourage individuals who have yet to receive a first or second dose. These latest efforts continue to make vaccines readily and conveniently available, especially in lower-vaccinated areas, and include proactively contacting individuals who have not booked their accelerated second dose appointment.
“Vaccines are the best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Working with our public health partners we are continuing make it easier and more convenient to receive the vaccine.
“If you haven’t been vaccinated yet and have questions, I encourage you to reach out to your pharmacy, family doctor or primary care provider.”
To support the province’s last mile strategy, the province and public health units are focusing on smaller, community-based and easy-to-access settings. Over 110,000 second dose appointments have been successfully booked or rebooked through this initiative.
Ontario’s GO-VAXX bus clinic has administered 1,100 vaccine doses, 42 per cent of which were first doses.
“Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been a collective success. While we can certainly take pride in our immunization achievements, there is still work to be done to ensure everyone is protected,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “That’s why we are shifting focus in this last mile, from mass vaccination clinics to community-based settings using strategies such as mobile clinics and GO-VAXX buses to reach Ontarians who have yet to receive a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.”