GO Transit converts 2 buses into mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics that will tour province

Click to play video: 'From vaccine passports to booster shots, Doctor answers COVID-19 questions' From vaccine passports to booster shots, Doctor answers COVID-19 questions
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As part of the Ontario government’s so-called “last mile strategy” to encourage the remaining eligible population to receive their COVID-19 vaccines, officials have announced two GO Transit buses have been converted into fully functioning immunization clinics.

“The spread of COVID-19 has been slowed, but it has not been halted. Getting a vaccine remains our best defence against this virus,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said at Streetsville GO station in Mississauga on Friday.

“The evidence is extremely clear: Your chances of getting COVID-19 after being fully immunized are drastically reduced and even if you test positive, you will almost certainly avoid a trip to the intensive care unit.”

Officials announced starting on Saturday at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, the buses staffed by medical professionals will be in operation six days a week and will be touring regions serviced by the GO Transit network. Each bus will be administering doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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Read more: COVID-19 vaccine wastage concerns in Canada as Moderna doses expire this week

Jones said the buses will be in use until the fall and will visit places like shopping malls, festivals and farmer’s markets.

“Anywhere our local public health units partners point us towards,” she said, adding there will be walk-in access with no appointments needed.

Click here to view the schedule of the vaccine buses.

In an effort to underscore the effectiveness of vaccines, Jones reiterated statistics out of Peel Region relating to COVID-19 hospitalizations. Between June 1 to July 9, she said all 81 people who were admitted to hospitals in the region were those who weren’t fully immunized against the virus.

READ MORE: 100% of recent Peel Region COVID hospitalizations in those not fully immunized, medical officer of health says

As of Friday, the provincial government reported 80.8 per cent of all eligible Ontario residents 12 and over have had at least one dose while 70.8 per cent have had both doses.

As public health agencies across the province ramp down mass vaccination clinics, Jones said officials are focusing on “more direct, face-to-face conversations with individuals” in an effort to boost inoculation uptake.

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Meanwhile, Jones was pressed again on the topic of vaccine passports in light of the Quebec government’s recent announcement a program is in the works amid a spike in cases. She reiterated past government messaging and rejected the idea of a provincial passport program, citing a need to have a consistent document among Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.

Jones called on the federal government to lead the creation and administration of vaccine passports, saying the Ontario government would cooperate with a national effort.

For the first time since late June, the Ontario government reported more than 300 new cases in its daily report on Friday.

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