TORONTO – On June 30 the Cultural Centre of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada located at 3840 Finch Ave. E. in Toronto was transformed into a COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinic.
In close collaboration and partnership with public health officials from the Scarborough Health Network (SHN), as well as Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association, a team of medical professionals and volunteers converted the Cultural Centre (which was donated free of charge) into a temporary vaccination clinic.
Thousands of people lined-up in the early morning to receive a vaccination appointment. While there was overwhelming demand, the eight-hour pop-up clinic administered more than 1,000 vaccines to local residents, students, and workers.
In a statement, the Archdiocese declared that, “the decision to receive a COVID-19 vaccine helps to protect oneself against the deadly virus, but it is also an act of Christian love for – and unity towards – our fellow brothers and sisters. In this way, we can create a safe society where COVID-19 is defeated and a sense of normalcy returns where we have enjoyable engagement with our family, friends, and neighbors.”
The statement continued:
“We appreciate the work and effort made by officials from the SHN and from Carefirst to make the pop-up clinic such a success. The Archdiocese also extends its gratitude to MPP Aris Babikian (Scarborough-Agincourt), who first made the proposal for this initiative and who is a steadfast supporter of the Church in Canada, including the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Community in his local riding, as well as the President and Executive Council of the Parish Community, the Philoptochos, together with Archon Evagelos Sotiropoulos who helped to facilitate this project. With the Lord’s help, the Protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos, and the intercessions of the Holy Apostles – whom we commemorate today – we can and will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”