Mobile vaccination clinic coming to Brock tomorrow

Brock University is hoping its unvaccinated or partly vaccinated students and staff will hop on board when a mobile Covid-19 vaccine clinic rolls into the St. Catharines university this Thursday.

Through a partnership with the Ontario government and Metrolinx, two GO Transit buses were converted into mobile vaccination clinics, and one of the GO-VAXX buses will be operating in the Zone 3 parking lot at the main Brock campus from 11 AM to 7 PM. It will be offering vaccines to students, faculty, staff and anyone from the wider community.

The first-come, first-serve clinics launched at Canada’s Wonderland in early August. Since then the fully accessible buses have been touring the Golden Horseshoe region providing first or second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to anyone 12 and older.

“We are working with our community partners and this seemed like a great opportunity to have mobile access to vaccination for our students,” said Lynn Wells, Brock’s Provost and Interim President. “We were very happy that the offer came our way and we are excited to have the bus come to campus.”

Wells isn’t sure of the exact number of doses the bus would be able to administer.

“Let’s just say a lot,” she said with a laugh.

All students and faculty at Brock will be required to be double- vaxxed.

“This a requirement that came to us from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health, for not only us but all Ontario colleges and universities, that we require a double vaccination on campus,” Wells said.

Brock is giving its staff and faculty a bit of time to comply with the directive. It is requiring the first dose by Sept. 1 and the second by Sept. 28.

“We have been collecting information from our community members and we are really pleased that a majority of people at Brock seem to be already double-vaccinated and that there are people who are indicating they have had their first dose and are waiting for their second,” she said. “We may also have international students who are coming who have different vaccinations that may need to restart with a Canadian-approved vaccine. [The bus] will be really accessible for them as well.”

Brock has an online system that all faculty and students are required to upload their information to indicate their vaccination status. By Aug. 27, the university had collected 6,089 submissions and 5,876 respondents said they were fully vaccinated. Fewer than five said they were planning to seek an exemption.

“There are two ways to get exemptions, either for a medical condition …or a human rights exemption that has to be under the terms of the Ontario Human Rights Code,” Wells said.

The university has plans in place to deal with students and faculty who decline to get vaccinated and have no plans to seek exemptions.

“We are treating that on a case-by-case basis for employees. They would work through human resources and for students we will put them in touch with academic advisors to see if they can transfer into online classes for the term and so on.”

Those planning to get vaccinated at the GO-VAXX bus will need their health cards. If they don’t have a health card or it is expired, they are being asked to bring another form of government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, status card, or birth certificate.

Organizers are suggesting people eat and drink something before arriving to prevent feeling faint or dizzy, dress for the weather in case there is a line, and wear clothing allowing for easy access to the upper arm, and wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin.

“With over nine million Ontarians now fully vaccinated, we are seeing the benefits of the strong protection provided by the Covid-19 vaccines,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a press release. “The job is not over yet, and the GO-VAXX bus is another way our government is making it easier and convenient for more Ontarians to receive their vaccine.”