On Friday, the health agency and its partners launched the Vaccivan, a vehicle specially equipped to administer COVID-19 vaccines, with the goal of boosting the vaccination rate of youths in the city’s west end.
The vehicle will move from park to park and other outdoor public spaces in the Côte-des-Neiges-NDG borough, the Parc-Extension neighbourhood, and municipalities including Westmount, Cote St. Luc, Hampstead, and Outremont in an effort to meet youths where they congregate.
“With the Vaccivan, we will be able to go where the young people aged from 18 to 35 usually are,” said Lucie Tremblay, director of vaccination for the CIUSSS. As of Tuesday, nearly 69 percent of Montreal residents between 18 and 39 had received a first dose of the vaccine.
This summer, the mobile clinic will mainly offer first doses to people without an appointment. The scheduled routes will be announced as locations are confirmed.
Ms. Tremblay says the Vaccivan will go where vaccination rates are lowest and infection rates are highest. She says her team will monitor the data on a daily basis to determine which regions these are.
“The younger people are very busy, they sometimes have a harder time to take the time to make an appointment,” Tremblay said. “So if we’re going to meet them in the park, I’m convinced that we’re going to be able to vaccinate a bunch of people.”
The van was initially created to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna to people in the 18 to 35 age group, but Tremblay says anyone eligible for a vaccine can receive the shot.
“We want to go back to a normal life and vaccination is the only way that we’re going to get there,” she said.
Due to a delay in the next delivery of Pfizer vaccines, however, the Vaccivan will only offer Moderna for the time being and therefore only those 18 and older can receive a shot.
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