NORTH BAY – April 23, 2021: The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has received $10,000 in funding from Sun Life to launch Project GoVax, a program to provide transportation to those in need for their COVID-19 Vaccine appointments.
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in full swing in our district, some eligible residents may have issues with getting to their appointment. North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with a long-time chamber member, U-NEED-A-CAB, and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to execute Project GoVax to help transport people to and from their COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Whether it be accessibility, financial, or other barriers that prevent some from making the trip, this program will help eliminate some of the challenges by providing a safe ride free of charge.
“We were approached by the Ontario Vaccine Support Council, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Sun Life about this unique funding opportunity that could help with the acceleration of vaccination in the community,” said Rebecca McGlynn, chair of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce. “We are happy to participate as the funding directly benefits one of our members and supports local vaccinations efforts. With more vaccinations taking place, we lower the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community, moving us closer to reopening."
“A major priority during the COVID vaccination effort is to ensure equitable access to the vaccine for all our residents,” said Dr. Jim Chirico, medical officer of health at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (NBPSDHU). “We heard of some transportation issues with vulnerable members of our community so this generous support will help to improve access to COVID-19 immunization by removing the barriers or lack of transportation for some of our residents."
“Sun Life remains focused on assisting our communities, particularly those most impacted by the pandemic and who face existing barriers,” said Kevin Strain, president of Sun Life. “We believe supporting the needs and well-being of the most vulnerable is key to a healthy and sustainable future for our communities. We are pleased to support this door-to-door ride service for eligible North Bay residents.”
“Ontario’s business community is working proactively in the fight against COVID- 19. On behalf of the Ontario Vaccination Support Council and our co-chairs from Bruce Power and Facebook Canada, we would like to thank our council member, Sun Life, for their generosity, and the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce for their leadership on this important project,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
“The council now leverages membership of over 250 businesses, universities, colleges, associations, and labour unions from across the province looking to provide support to all 34 public health units to accelerate vaccination efforts. The faster the Ontario population is inoculated, the faster we can safely reopen and work together on the province’s economic recovery."
A long-time member of the NBDCC, U-NEED-A-CAB will be supplying the transportation and will coordinate the rides.
“U-NEED-A-CAB is pleased to team up with the NBDCC and NBPSDHU to help members of our great community to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments,” John Strang, president of U-NEED-A CAB. “Our drivers always practise safe measures and will be happy to get those in need of a ride to and from their appointment.”
Project GoVax will be coordinated by the staff at the NBPSDHU and will be available to anyone in North Bay who has an appointment booked at the COVID-19 vaccination centre in North Bay only.
To book your ride, call U-NEED-A-CAB at (705) 497-7777 and request a ride through Project GoVax. Please have your COVID-19 vaccination appointment booked before calling U-NEED-A-CAB as they cannot book appointments for you and will require your nine-digit vaccination booking code.
To book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment, please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/