Woman at pop-up vaccination clinic hit by driver in Markham, resulting in arrest

Immediately after a worker at an pop-up vaccine clinic was hit and injured by a vehicle in Markham on Wednesday, the Attorney General’s Office says it plans to continue the popular initiative aimed at distributing rapid test kits and increasing COVID vaccines.

York Regional Police charged a man with failing to stay after beating a government employee Wednesday night in the vicinity of the mobile bus vaccination clinic. Police were called to the scene just before 5 p.m.

A 52-year-old Markham male driver was charged with tampering with the operation that caused bodily harm, over the age of 80, and failing to stop after an accident that caused bodily harm.

The woman was struck in the Kennedy Road area between Elgin Mills Road East and Major Mackenzie Drive East, Const. Maniva Armstrong said.

She was taken to hospital for treatment for what police described as moderate to severe injuries.

“It appears that he was working in some way because the Ministry of Labor is involved in the investigation of the incident,” Armstrong told the Star.

Labor Ministry officials have confirmed that the ministry was notified of an incident at the workplace in Markham.

“It was reported that a worker who was working at an emergency vaccination clinic was injured when he was hit by a vehicle,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that an investigation is ongoing.

The Attorney General’s Office is aware of the injuries sustained by the staff member, as well as the charges brought against the defendants, spokesman Andrew Morrison said.

“I understand the police attended,” Morrison told Star Friday. He was unaware of the staff member’s current condition, but also mentioned that privacy concerns could prevent the release of details.

He said this particular GO-VAXX mobile vaccine clinic was organized near a golf course in the Markham area.

The initiative involves a partnership between the Metrolinx ministry, the provincial transit agency, which converted three GO buses to serve as mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

“The plan is to continue offering the vaccine in a variety of settings,” Morrison said, adding that mobile and pop-up clinics continue to be part of those delivery options.

Morrison said there would have been some security on the site, but it is not yet known how this incident could cause a rethinking of the security plugin on mobile sites in the future.

Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said “we had heard from our driver immediately” after the incident, adding that “there were exceptionally long lines at this and other GO-VAXX sites in particular.”

He said managing the line can be difficult as some people wait in their vehicles.

“Our drivers would show up and the lineups would already be there,” he said, adding that the attorney general’s ministry is in charge of developing a safety plan.

Aikins said they were “upset” and “stunned” to learn of the injury.

“These are people who go out to try to help other people,” he said. “We hope he recovers.”

He said that the GO-VAXX project has been extremely popular. The sites now also offer booster shots and doses for children. Omicron has also sparked a flurry of new demand.

“Everything changed this week and demand increased exponentially,” Aikins said, adding that there have been important lineups.

“It has been a great success,” he said, adding that he is not aware of any serious incidents prior to this one.

Jason Miller is a Toronto-based Star reporter covering crime and justice in the Peel region. Contact him by email: j[email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic


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