toronto COVID-19 vaccine

Toronto readies nine COVID-19 vaccination clinics to administer more than 100K doses per week

The City of Toronto announced that they are readying nine city-operated COVID-19 vaccination clinics. In a press briefing on Wednesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory cautioned Torontonians that these sites are “not opening tomorrow,” so people shouldn’t line up at these clinics until notified.

The target date for opening the clinics will be in early April. The ultimate date of opening will be based on the vaccine supplies secured by the federal government and when the province “provides direction” to do so.

“We are readying these sites and letting you know where they are as part of what is one of the largest, if not the largest, for sure, vaccination mobilization efforts in the history of the city,” the mayor added, saying that it’s a “team effort” to get everyone vaccinated.

The clinics will be located at:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.
  • Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.
  • Malvern Community Recreation Centre, 30 Sewells Rd.
  • The Hangar, 75 Carl Hall Rd.
  • Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Dr.
  • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
  • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Carmine Stefano Community Centre, 3100 Weston Rd.

Tory added that the sites will be prepared to administer up to 120,000 doses each week, pending “provincial priority setting and time-tabling”.

Still, the clinics are just one part of an overall municipal vaccination program, which includes mobile clinics and response teams that will ensure vulnerable populations have access to immunization. Other immunization clinics will be operated by hospital and community partners, mobile clinics, and via family doctors and pharmacies.

“I cannot stress this enough,” Tory said. “Getting vaccinated is the right thing to do. It will help protect you, and your family and your friends, and your coworkers.”

As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, 426,836 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the province. On Thursday, the provincial government announced that—despite repeated delays and reductions of vaccine shipments—the first round of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in every long-term care home across Ontario to eligible residents who wanted to receive it.

To date, more than 62,000 long-term care residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 34,000 residents have received their second dose. The province’s vaccine strategy prioritizes the most vulnerable populations first, including residents of long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes.

“It is critically important to vaccinate, and provide an extra layer of protection, for the residents in our long-term care homes and those who care for them,” Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “But due to a shortage of supply and unpredictable deliveries, meeting our goals has been a challenge. Thanks to the well-oiled machine here in Ontario, led by General Hillier and his team, we have made incredible progress in our vaccine rollout, offering our seniors and their families peace of mind during this difficult period.”

Phase 2 of Ontario’s three-phase vaccine distribution implementation plan, set to begin in March 2021, will include increasing the stock of vaccines available to all health care workers, residents in long-term care homes, retirement homes, home care patients with chronic conditions, and additional Indigenous communities. Phase 3 will include making vaccines widely available across the province for anyone who wants to be immunized, beginning in August 2021 (depending on the availability of vaccines).

On Thursday, Ontario reported 945 cases of COVID-19 with over 68,800 tests completed. This includes 258 new cases in Peel, 116 in York Region and 112 in Toronto (although Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott noted that, as part of Toronto Public Health’s migration to a new system, TPH’s case counts were under-reported Wednesday, resulting in an underestimate of the daily counts).

Meanwhile, in the midst of all of the vaccination news, Education Minister Stephen Lecce will make an announcement at Queen’s Park Thursday afternoon on whether to keep schools open during March Break, currently scheduled for March 12-16.

Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.

Article exclusive to TRNTO