Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve race track, a loop popular with cyclists, is normally closed to the public at this time of year as it hosts the (cancelled for 2021) Montreal Grand Prix. Unlike most years, cyclists are actually being encouraged to ride down to Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Île Notre-Dame to get one of the thousands of vaccination doses that will be offered by a mobile pop-up clinic.
On May 29 and 30, and the two following weekends, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will host a festive vaccine clinic specifically designed for cyclists to ride over and get their Pfizer shots.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30, vaccine injectors at the site will administer COVID-19 vaccines at a rate of nearly 200 doses per hour for a total of 1,000 per day. The following weekends, June 5-6 and June 12-13, the race track clinic will be opened to motor vehicles as well as cyclists, with 16 lanes reserved for bikes and 20 for cars.
RELATED: Should you bike after getting the COVID vaccine?
When this year’s Montreal Grand Prix race was called off, Formula 1 Canada president François Dumontier offered to lend out the site to the province for the clinic. Though it will be no Piknic Électronik, there will still be DJs playing on Parc Jean-Drapeau as cyclists (and drivers) get their vaccines. Likewise, though there will be no F1 event, there will still be Grand Prix cars decorating the space and projections of past races.
60 people will be working at the event, with 16 vaccine injectors, two nurse clinicians and 16 evaluators.“We have a goal to finish the first dose of vaccination by June 24, so this will help us get to that goal,” Marie-Ève Brunelle, the director of vaccination for the CIUSSS Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, told the Montreal Gazette.
Cyclists don’t have to book an appointment to get vaccinated at the pop-up, but those arriving by car must book appointments on the province’s vaccination website, clicsante.ca.