The MaRS Centre is now home to a COVID-19 vaccination site run by University Health Network (UHN) for staff working in Toronto’s long-term care facilities and staff from acute care hospitals within walking distance.
On Thursday, MaRS said the site will be for the hospitals and facilities in the area like UHN, Women’s College, SickKids, Mount Sinai and Toronto Grace Health Centre.
The site has been operational as of January 5 and is UHN’s second vaccination clinic.
“MaRS is pleased to help deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to the people who need it most,” said Nina Gazzola, vice president of MaRS Centre, in a statement.
“The MaRS Centre has been open throughout the pandemic, supporting our tenants, many of whom are actively involved in the fight against COVID-19. Our auditorium makes an excellent site for a vaccine clinic, and our large atrium and common spaces enable visitors to flow safely through the buildings.”
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MaRS is North America’s largest innovation hub — 1.5 million square feet in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District. It is home to research and health institutions, such as Public Health Ontario, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, as well as academic research facilities for the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and UHN.
A curated mix of tenants brings together global corporates, venture capitalists and startups, all working to advance Canada’s innovation economy. Prior to the pandemic, MaRS held and supported over 2,000 events annually.
“COVID-19 vaccination clinics have very specific requirements for how people move through the space and observe the 15-minute wait period after receiving an injection,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of UHN.
“The MaRS Centre is the ideal location. Its proximity to local hospitals allows frontline workers to come on short notice, and the large physical space ensures safe physical distancing. Thanks to the flexibility of the MaRS team, we’re able to make the swift changes required to deliver this vaccine to those who urgently need it.”
According to Health Minister Christine Elliott, as of yesterday, almost 73,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.