After administering over 335,000 first and second Covid-19 vaccine doses to local community members, Trillium Health Partners ended its five-month long mass vaccination clinic at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Recreation, Athletics, and Wellness Centre. The clinic was aimed to assist Peel Region’s efforts to pivot towards a new long-term vaccination strategy focused on pharmacies and primary care.
Open since March 2021, the 149-day long joint venture between Peel Region, Trillium Health Partners, and the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) discontinued on July 27, 2021, allowing regular athletic programming to resume in Gymnasium C for the upcoming Fall semester.
In a July 19, 2021 press release, Trillium Health Partners announced that “THP will be transitioning all vaccine efforts to the Mississauga Hospital J-Wing vaccination clinic.” Citing the growth of community-based vaccine clinics and increased vaccination rates in Peel Region, the GTA-based hospital system wrote that “Appointments that are currently scheduled at the UTM clinic after July 27 will be honoured at the J-Wing clinic, and all impacted individuals will be contacted directly”.
First administering 2,000 then 5,000 doses a day, the Mississauga Covid-19 mass vaccination clinic administered first and second vaccine doses far ahead of schedule and is estimated to have prevented a minimum of 103 Covid-19 deaths and 6,840 new cases, according to data projections analyzed by Global News.
In a celebratory closing speech, Professor Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President and Principal of UTM, conveyed her ‘tremendous gratitude’ to all clinic personnel, volunteers, and staff for their sustained efforts. Gillespie also communicated her profound appreciation for the mass vaccination clinic’s positive impact on vaccination rates in Peel Region.
Karli Farrow, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trillium Health Partners, similarly expressed that “we were able to expedite administration of the Covid-19 vaccine, resulting in quicker community access to first and second doses, and, ultimately, protection against the virus.”
In an internal email sent to all University of Toronto Mississauga community members on July 26, 2021, one day before the mass vaccination clinic’s scheduled closure, Megan Evans, Manager of UTM Covid-19 Clinic Operations, indicated that paid parking would resume on two campus parking lots previously designated as free clinic parking (parking lots P4 and P8), and wrote that “The targeted date for reopening the RAWC doors (as access to other campus buildings) is Monday, August 9; a full reopening of the RAWC is slated for September.”
Likewise, the UTM’s Covid-19 mass vaccination clinic frequently asked questions page states that “In late July, we will begin to transition the RAWC back to its pre-clinic layout as a community-oriented fitness facility […] [and] the transition will occur gradually, with some clean up and organizational efforts likely stretching into the first two weeks of August.” UTM was selected to host the Covid-19 mass vaccination clinics because of the availability of campus staff who provided operational expertise, accessibility considerations linked to parking and public transportation, in addition to scientific sub-zero freezers that could both accommodate and ensure the viability of mRNA vaccine doses. The clinic was a success to helping with Ontario’s vaccination efforts.