Collège Boréal partnered with Public Health Sudbury and Districts to host a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic at its main campus on Thursday.
The clinic was open to students, staff, and visitors looking to receive their first or second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
The college said that it welcomed the clinic as part of its efforts to ensure that everyone has a safe start to the 2021-22 academic year.
As part of Collège Boréal’s mandatory vaccination policy, everyone attending campus must have received at least their first dose of the vaccine by Sept. 7.
“We think it’s very important for students and staff to have a safe environment to be in, to work in, and to learn in so we wanted to make sure vaccinations were mandated,” Patrick Lafontaine, director of student services at Collège Boréal.
“The response we’ve received has been very positive. We had a lot of questions about the vaccination clinic on the first day of class, so we handed out a lot of information, and we expect a good turnout for the clinic today.”
Collège Boréal announced that it will require full vaccination for anyone wishing to access its campuses and facilities across the province in August.
The decision was made following consultations with public health officials, and the directive was rolled out in two phases.
Anyone accessing the college is expected to have their first dose of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Full vaccination will be mandatory as of Oct. 15.
“After this date, individuals who have not received the two doses of vaccine will be required to undergo increased health and safety measures, such as enhanced screening and regular COVID-19 testing to gain access to campuses and facilities,” the college said in a release.
Collège Boréal is also maintaining all COVID-19 prevention health measures, such as mandatory mask use on campus, for the duration of the academic year as required by government and public health officials.
Physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and controlled access to campus buildings will continue as well.
“In fact, the government has lifted certain constraints, saying you can have more students per class this year,” said Lafontaine.
“But we have chosen to maintain fewer students per class so we can try to ensure the safety of our students and faculty.”
Lafontaine added that a lot of Collège Boréal’s courses are still being offered virtually, but students will get the chance to participate in hands-on learning on campus.
“We are very excited to see the end of this pandemic and we’re looking forward to returning to a sense of normalcy. This year, we’re trying to open certain services that were closed last year,” he said.
“The gym facilities are now open, and the student association counter, information services, and varsity sports are coming back. We are very excited about that.”
Lafontaine said that the college will continue working closely with Public Health as the school year progresses.
“Public Health Sudbury and Districts is working with our postsecondary school partners within the district,” said Hannah Ballantyne, registered nurse at the health unit.
“This is our first time at Collège Boréal, but we’ve also hosted mobile vaccination clinics at Laurentian University and Cambrian College.”
Ballantyne said that COVID-19 is one of the best defenses against the COVID-19 virus and the Delta variant.
“We’re recommending that all those who are eligible receive the vaccine,” she said.
The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.
Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star