In a time before COVID-19, buses like the one parked in front of Kananaskis Mountain Lodge in Kananaskis Village on Monday would be packed with foreign tourists coming to see the mountains.
Now, a Traxx Coachlines motor coach has been converted to a mobile vaccination clinic.
It’s a joint effort between Alberta Health and the business community to bring vaccines to hard-to-reach people.
“We’ve seen already in some of the work we’ve done with the provincial government so far, that bringing on-site vaccination to places like meat-packing plants or oilsands camps has made an enormous difference in terms of the amount of uptake that’s going on there,” said Scott Crockatt with the Business Council of Alberta.
Darren Robinson is the manager of the Kananaskis Country Golf Course which has around 150 employees.
“They need a little less friction to get that first or second dose, so this is wonderful because it makes it so easy,” Robinson said.
He said most employees live in staff accommodations and many don’t have vehicles.
“They are living in closer corridors,” Robinson said. “It’s typically a more social demographic. So getting those vaccinations, as a business operator, it just brings down those stress levels.
“We remain cautious and vigilant, but there is a level of comfort that goes along with it.”
Janna Tymstra said having the bus pull up at her workplace makes it way more convenient than driving to Calgary. She works at Mount Kidd RV Park and got her second dose on Monday.
“I was really waiting and pushing off getting my appointment because it’s hard to make it work timewise,” she said. “So this definitely made me get it faster than I otherwise would have.”
The business coalition behind the bus is taking requests from businesses and organizations who want to be on the bus route.
“The main thing that we’re hoping to get out of it is a strong and successful healthy Alberta,” Crockatt said.
“We know that every new vaccination reduces the health risks to everybody. Hopefully (this) saves lives and in the long run it’s also good for our economy.”
The private sector is covering all the costs associated with the bus. The province is providing the vaccines.
It’s expected bus staff can administer 300 doses per day. It will be on the road for two months.
To request the service people can visit https://www.businesscouncilab.com/vaccinations/ and fill out a request form.
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