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U of T partners with health ministry, Metrolinx to bring GO-VAXX bus to campus

The GO-VAXX bus, a mobile pop-up vaccine clinic, parked on the corner of Willcocks and St. George Streets on the St. George campus (photo by Skyler Huang)

The University of Toronto has partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Metrolinx to bring a mobile vaccine clinic – housed in a GO bus – to the St. George campus.

The GO bus has been transformed into a mobile pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic that operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

The seats have been removed to create a safe and roomy environment to comfortably deliver vaccines to people who have yet to receive a first or second dose – or international students in need of a Health Canada-approved mRNA dose, also known as a “bridging dose.” GO-VAXX buses have travelled to malls, festivals, community events, and more recently, to the corner of Willcocks and St. George Streets.

“I’m thrilled to report that more than 90,500 U of T community members have uploaded their vaccination status to the university’s UCheck portal as of Nov. 1 – with 97.2 per cent reporting they are fully vaccinated and another 2.3 per cent who are on their way to full vaccination,” said Ron Saporta, chief operating officer, property services and sustainability and chair of the COVID-19 planning and re-entry advisory committee.

“Having the GO-VAXX bus on campus in such a central location has given the U of T community another convenient option to get vaccinated.”

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Inside the GO-VAXX mobile pop-up clinic (photo by Jennifer Puskar)

Over the summer, U of T also hosted a vaccine clinic in the Exam Centre that administered nearly 56,000 doses, including pop-up clinics in community hot spots. That includes vaccinations provided to nearly 1,600 members of Indigenous communities. U of T Mississauga was the site of a mass vaccine clinic that provided more than 335,000 doses to the local community while U of T Scarborough delivered nearly 27,500 doses.

At St. George, a grounds team from U of T Facilities & Services developed a plan to accommodate the bus in the narrow space of Willcocks Street.

“We rearranged the outdoor furniture and placed planters strategically to prevent cars from parking and clogging the flow of pedestrians,” said Stan Szwagiel, manager grounds services on the St. George Campus. “It was a team effort.”

During a few visits in October and November, the GO-VAXX bus team vaccinated more than 500 community members, including providing support to international students who required a bridging dose to be considered fully vaccinated.

The GO-VAXX pop-up clinic is just one example of U of T’s ongoing efforts to facilitate a safe return to in-person campus activities.

The bus is scheduled to be back on campus on Nov. 10. Details around vaccine availability, including additional dates for GO-VAXX, can be found at U of T’s UTogether site.

The Discovery Pharmacy at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy also offers COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment. Information on booking an appointment can be found here.

All members of the U of T community are required to complete a health self-assessment via UCheck prior to coming to campus.

Learn more at UTogether

 

 

 

 

 

 

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