Quebec's first corporate vaccination site opens, as more companies join effort

·2 min read
Employees are vaccinated at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at CAE headquarters in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Employees are vaccinated at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at CAE headquarters in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Employees at a large aerospace company in Montreal are now able to get vaccinated at work, as the province's first corporate vaccination centre is now up and running.

About 75 staff members at CAE, located in Montreal's Saint-Laurent borough, received a vaccine dose on Monday. CAE expects to ramp up the number of people it vaccinates in the coming days, eventually providing up to 1,000 doses per day.

The company was one of 13 corporate vaccination sites approved by the province earlier this month. These companies are expected to inoculate employees, their families, the staff of partnered companies along with their families as well.

Eventually, even members of the general public with no ties to the companies are expected to be able to get shots at these centres.

"We've transformed 14,000-square-feet of conferences centres, offices," said Marc Parent, the CEO of CAE. "We've completely transformed in less than a month, to create this vaccination centre."

Last month, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced the province was turning to the private sector for help in reaching its goal of providing a first dose to every Quebecer who wants one by June 24.

Together, the companies who sign up are expected to administer 500,000 doses of vaccines.

"We are very proud," said Frédéric Abergel, the CEO of the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal. "It's been a great collaboration between us, the CIUSSS and CAE for the last few weeks in accordance with the same standards in our own sites."

More than 20 companies signed up

The initial list of businesses approved by the province are expected to begin vaccinating staff next week.

On Monday, the province added 10 more companies to its network of corporate vaccination sites, bringing the total up to 23.

Airbus Canada will be teaming up with several companies in Mirabel Que., north of Montreal. Other companies joining in the effort include Hydro-Québec and Saputo Inc.

Biscuits Leclerc will set up a vaccination site in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures in the Quebec City region. These new sites are expected to open in May.

"There is a real sense of urgency. We know what's going on in the communities with the impact of the variants," said Yves Légaré, the company's vice-president of human resources.

"We have a gym, we have access. We have parking lots. We can greet people safely here."

For the full list of the ten new sites approved by the province, click here.