This was our shot and CSIO took it.
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is proud to announce that as of Friday June 25, it will have facilitated over 550 vaccinations for athletes, coaches and support staff attending the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Over 400 of those vaccines were given at CSIO’s office at Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre which hosted vaccine clinics every Friday from May 28 to June 25. The vaccines were administered onsite by certified staff from Medavie, a not-for-profit, health solutions partner working on the frontlines throughout the pandemic.
CSIO also facilitated close to 150 additional vaccinations for those outside of the GTA in areas like Ottawa and London, Ontario.
The vaccines administered were a donation from the agreement between Pfizer-BioNTech and the International Olympic Committee ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is important to note these doses were not taken from the existing supply chain of vaccinations allocated for Ontario but were additional doses of the vaccination supplied separately.
“It’s a privilege to be able to help out and to be a part of this moment,” said Haginaa Sivapunniyan, CSIO’s Coordinator overseeing the vaccine clinic along with CSIO Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Steven Dilkas. “Our athletes continue to be resilient while facing uncertainty. Hearing the sense of gratitude and relief when they are leaving the clinics knowing that they are protected is a great feeling. They will finally be able to feel safer out there and to be able to compete knowing that there is a level of protection for themselves and their loved ones.”
“There is a lot that goes behind the scenes in making these vaccine clinics possible and I don’t think we would have been able to successfully host clinics both in and outside of the GTA without the great support from the Ministry and the Medavie team on the ground,” remarked Sivapunniyan.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, health care workers have been critical in protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” says Michael Adair, Medavie’s onsite vaccine clinic lead in Ontario. “Our frontline teams have been actively supporting ongoing screening test efforts and vaccine roll-outs in various communities across the country. We are incredibly proud to be engaged to administer vaccines to Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes (plus coaches and support staff). We look forward to continuing the momentum of bringing care to our communities and for healthier days ahead.”
CSIO’s vaccine clinic was the location that saw Team Canada Chef de Mission and CSIO Board of Director, Marnie McBean receive her second vaccine dose, as did Canadian Olympic Committee CEO, David Shoemaker.
“CSIO is grateful for the support of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Government of Ontario and Minister MacLeod in collaborating with Dr. Dilkas and our staff to get the CSIO vaccine clinic up and running so quickly,” said Debbie Low, CEO of CSIO. “We are proud to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches, and support staff in the lead-in to the Games and getting these individuals vaccinated was paramount. Now they can focus their attention on their final preparations for Tokyo, knowing that while they still need to be vigilant and take all necessary precautions, that they have that layer of protection being vaccinated provides.”
About Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is a non-profit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing world-class programs, services, and leadership to high performance athletes, coaches, and National and Provincial Sport Organizations to enhance their ability to achieve international podium performances. Our team of expert practitioners deliver sport science, sport medicine, life services, and coaching and technical leadership support to help Canada win medals and strengthen the sport system in Ontario and Canada. CSIO is part of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. CSIO is further supported by funding partners such as the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Coaching Association of Canada. www.csiontario.ca
Medavie is a not-for-profit health solutions partner that integrates benefits management, health management and health care delivery. Together, with our more than 7,200 employees, we are committed to improving the wellbeing of Canadians. www.medavie.ca
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Laura Albright, Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario