On the Frontlines of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been, and continues to be, one of the biggest health challenges of our lifetime, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives.

As a national primary health care solutions organization and the largest contracted provider of EMS management services in Canada, Medavie Health Services (MHS) and our teams of dedicated care professionals have been playing a critical role on the frontlines of the crisis — from the very beginning to today.

Whether part of provincial border screening or mobile testing clinics to COVID-19 vaccine administration, our teams have worked tirelessly and collaboratively with partners throughout the country to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of Canadians and their communities.

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Gord Mathers, Operations Manager alongside the Hon. Jeff Yurek, MPP and Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks while working together onsite at the Elgin County Mass Immunization Clinic. Min. Yurek is also a practicing pharmacist in the community.


In Ontario, Medavie EMS Elgin Ontario has been working alongside local partners — Southwest Public Health and allied emergency services — to administer COVID-19 vaccines to community members across Elgin County, both through the Elgin County Mass Immunization Clinic and ongoing mobile care.

Paramedics and public health nurses have been travelling to accommodate residents that are homebound with complex medical issues while administering vaccinations at congregate living facilities, retirement residences and long-term care facilities (LTCs).

The mobile team has also been working to support other emergency services by administering vaccines at the Ontario Police College, St. Thomas Fire Department, St. Thomas Police Services and Elgin OPP. As well, the team has been providing clinics to vaccinate targeted populations such as Temporary Foreign Workers and seniors’ apartment buildings.

In Chatham-Kent, our paramedic team at Chatham-Kent EMS has continued working collaboratively with Chatham-Kent Public Health, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and other community partners to coordinate the delivery and administration of COVID-19 vaccines for local residents – through a mass vaccination clinic and ongoing mobile care.

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Working with Chatham-Kent Public Health staff on COVID-19 vaccine administration at local long-term care facilities. (Photo: Mark Reinhart, CK Public Health)

A dedicated mobile team, made up of paramedics and Chatham-Kent Public Health staff, visited long-term care facilities to provide residents with their first doses of the vaccine in late January, with the second round made available in February. Mobile teams are also supporting individuals who are homebound and in need of the vaccine, administering first and second doses in their homes. The health system partners in Chatham-Kent also have operational vaccination clinics where residents can go to receive their immunization.

The initial rollout was so successful that retired general Rick Hillier, head of Ontario’s vaccine task force, commended the teams in Chatham-Kent for giving the municipality the highest vaccination rate in the province.

As well, in Ontario, a dedicated team helped facilitate vaccines for 500+ Olympic and Paralympic athletes in lead up to Tokyo through the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario.


In Saskatoon, Medavie Health Services West has partnered with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to leverage the Saskatoon Health Bus to provide mobile COVID-19 vaccines to people in the community experiencing challenges accessing COVID-19 immunizations.

Not everyone is able to access drive-thru or booked vaccination appointments. The mobile approach allows our care providers to take vaccines to groups who otherwise would have challenges accessing this critical health service.

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103-year-old Evelyn Calder of Campobello, NB, who lived through the Spanish Flu, getting her first shot from a member of our EMP team.

New Brunswick

This collaborative approach has also been quite successful in New Brunswick, where the province’s Extra-Mural Program (EMP) and Ambulance New Brunswick (ANB), together with Medavie Health Services New Brunswick management, have begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the province.

Even before COVID-19 vaccines were approved or available in Canada, the Province of New Brunswick asked the EMP team to provide flu vaccinations for all their patients, as well as for residents of all the province’s adult residential facilities (ARFs). This not only helped to reduce the rate of influenza in the province, it also reduced pressure on the health-care system during a time when resources were already strained in the fight against the pandemic.

With the scope of New Brunswick paramedics expanded to include administering vaccinations as of February 1, teams of Registered Nurses from the Extra-Mural Program, with support from ANB paramedics and Medavie Health Services New Brunswick, have since been leading the COVID-19 vaccination efforts for all of New Brunswick’s ARFs, as well as several of the province’s nursing homes, with completion of the first doses by March 17 and the second doses for ARF and nursing home residents continuing through to mid-April.

Nova Scotia

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Fatima M., a vaccine scheduler with TeleHealth in Nova Scotia.

A key element in the rollout has been ensuring that residents can rely on a seamless and uncomplicated booking process to schedule their vaccination shots. In Nova Scotia, the person-to-person scheduling option has been led by our TeleHealth team which have been booking appointments for callers since mid-February. Demand on the system was quite high, with the team fielding more than 10,000 calls in the first month alone. Since then, 32 additional non-clinical staff have been hired to manage the volume of calls, while a third call centre is being established to accommodate the additional staff members.

As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue across the country, our teams will remain on the frontlines, supporting the health and wellbeing of those in the communities we serve.

The work is not yet done, but we have taken a major step in protecting Canadians against COVID-19, working with our health care system partners. We look forward to continuing the momentum and for healthier days ahead.

Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.