VANCOUVER – WestJet (WS) and the Government of British Columbia have partnered to allow 200 furloughed WS employees to assist at Mass Vaccination clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area.
“WestJetters” will assist at clinics in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions. The first clinic is scheduled to open at the University of British Columbia on March 29, 2021.
WestJet Customer Service and Care Team member Baljinder Sandhu commented, “After having my hours reduced during the pandemic, I was eager to put my hand up when WestJet called for us to assist in the rollout of Canada’s vaccination efforts, Getting the opportunity to work at the clinic, alongside many of my colleagues who were furloughed, while seeing this life-changing vaccine being administered is a really special opportunity.”
However, the care team won’t be involved with the medical portion. They will be helping with arrivals, check-in, data entry, and patient observation after receiving the vaccine. Clinics will run 12 hours per day through October 31, 2021. In that period, over 200,000 eligible Vancouver residents will receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The partnership between WS and the Government of BC is a step towards rebuilding the decimated aviation industry. With mass furloughs throughout aviation and the world, the vaccine clinics will help many people return to work as the economy and industry rebuilds.
“The caring experience that our people provide is not exclusive to travel; it’s a mindset that all WestJetters embody,” commented Mark Porter, WS Executive VP People and Culture.
“With our operational experience in moving people through airports, WestJetters will help put people at ease and aid in ensuring clinics run smoothly. We are proud to partner with Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, Dr. Henry and Dr. Ballem to bring our people back to work on this critical initiative which will help protect our citizens and get our lives and economies moving again.”
“WestJet has been serving Vancouver for 25 years and assisting in getting the community vaccinated as quickly as possible aligns with our commitment to safety for our guests, our employees and the communities we serve,”
Gov of BC, WestJet Relationship
“Since day one of our immunization program, we have been committed to tapping into the knowledge and expertise of our community partners,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead, B.C.’s immunization plan rollout. “It takes a whole village to help implement this immunization effort and we are proud to be working with business and industry leaders and community organizations in every sector, along with municipalities to get vaccines to people in B.C. quickly and efficiently.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan said: “British Columbians have risen to many challenges during this past year, with people and businesses finding new and innovative ways to support each other, People who work in the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sector have answered the call to help with B.C.’s immunization plan. This partnership will provide new jobs for people while contributing to B.C.’s already accelerated vaccine rollout.”
Information on vaccine eligibility and clinic locations can be found at Gov.bc.ca/COVID.
Featured image: C-FLWJ Photo: Max Langley/Airways