By Justina Kewal
With universities reopening and vaccine hesitancy still pervasive, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters announced a new COVID-19 vaccine-infused menu on Monday for its Ryerson campus location, created in partnership with Public Health Ontario (PHO).
The initiative, titled For Making Refreshing and Natural Aroma (4MRNA), intends to boost vaccination rates among young adults and avoid yet another lockdown, according to a joint press release from Balzac’s and PHO.
The menu incorporates “the lush taste of 100 per cent Arabica bean coffee with deliciously fundamental COVID-19 antibodies,” said PHO spokesperson Phil Fryzer.
One featured item is the Protein Packed Espresso (PPE). A bitter coffee spiked with banana-flavoured protein powder, PPE was designed to help weightlifting students at the Mattamy Athletic Centre bulk up both their deltoids and their immune system, all in one drink.
“Honestly, I couldn’t care less if the vaccines make me magnetic because after trying these espresso shots, I feel like Iron Man,” said second-year English student Angela Fields, before crushing her glass espresso cup unflinchingly in her bare hands and throwing out her Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer.
“Everyone in my residence has been drinking this. It’s definitely been one of the better contagious outbreaks at Pitman Hall,” said third-year RTA student Johnson Johnson. “If immunity is what I need to not catch COVID-19, I’d say it’s worth the shot.”
“If immunity is what I need to not catch COVID-19, I’d say it’s worth the shot”
Balzac also launched their most popular item yet, the Astra-Americana latte, infused with a generous amount of micronutrients and topped with a thick layer of creamy foam.
These groundbreaking coffee-vaccine fusions were developed by Ontario laboratory scientists who converted the vaccines into an edible simple syrup. The syrup contains a special flavouring powder which acts as a master blueprint, instructing cells in the body to defeat COVID-19 viral particles.
“Combining our revolutionary syrup with caffeine stimulates the memory T-cells that guard against COVID-19 at an equal, if not slightly higher rate than normal vaccines,” said lead lab researcher Dr. Raymond Wiseman. “Plus, I’m sure everyone will be happy to know the syrup contains absolutely zero microchips. You can even order it on your personal tracking device—I mean, your smartphone.”
Vaccine coffees may also be particularly beneficial for student life. A study published in the Journal of Apocalyptic Medicine found steamed milk mixed with the mRNA combination in the Astra-Americana latte creates an extraordinary immune defense to eye soreness and full-body fatigue caused by the past year of virtual learning.
In a press conference on Monday, Premier Doug Ford said the vaccine menu comes in especially handy as new modelling data shows Ontario could be staring down the barrel of a fourth wave. “These drinks are our one solution because I, like many Ontarians, love marketing gimmicks and don’t want to be subjected to the confusing messaging of lockdown, shutdown and stay-at-home-order all over again.”
“I’m just glad I won’t have to keep on our AC anymore”
Although 4MRNA reported administering 300 COVID-19 vaccine doses already, this hasn’t stopped anti-vaxxers from protesting in front of the Balzac’s on Gould Street.
Tyrell Willis, a third-year psychology student and president of campus anti-vax group Hugs over Masks said: “I’ve gotten COVID-19 many, many, many times, and I know for a fact I have more natural immunity than any of these bogus drinks could offer.”
Despite some student discontent, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi released a statement on Tuesday praising the “high rates of infectious enthusiasm” for the 4MRNA initiative.
“I’m just glad I won’t have to keep on our pricey AC anymore to try to blow away the Delta variant,” Lachemi added.
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