More than 50 people hopped on board with getting vaccinated during the latest stop of the GO VAXX bus in Petrolia Monday.
The bus, which has been travelling Ontario bringing the COVID shot to different communities, parked behind the library from 11 am to 5 pm. This followed Lambton stops over the prior three days in Sarnia and Mooretown.
The bus is equipped with freezers so the vaccines can be transported long distances across the province. People come aboard and head to the back of the bus for a shot before either hanging around inside or, in Petrolia, in the Kerr Café.
The bus team consists of around six to eight workers from different regions. Bill Gaunt, who is from Grey-Bruce, was team lead for the Petrolia trip, which included volunteers from Lambton and Chatham-Kent.
Another member of the team is the bus driver, in this case Chris Johnstone from Oshawa. He’s been volunteering his weekends for the past three months to ferry the precious cargo around. He says reception to the bus is mostly positive and at times there’s more demand than supply.
But the bus occasionally faces opposition too. This was especially the case during the Lambton County swing as protestors turned up at all four locations calling for the vaccines to be stopped.
In Petrolia about half a dozen people displayed signs with various anti-vaccine messaging. Several shouted that the GO VAXX team was killing people and the vaccines were against God and a tool of the Devil.
A brief quarrel ensued between Gaunt and a protestor after the man repeatedly crossed barriers surrounding the bus. But after some arguing the pair separated peacefully.
The protestors were loud but ultimately outnumbered by the GO VAXX team and certainly placed a distant second to the 53 people who stepped up to get their COVID shot.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent