toronto COVID-19 vaccine

Toronto identifies more than 350 vaccine sites in upcoming program

The City of Toronto, in collaboration with its health sector partners, has identified approximately 353 locations across the city to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, based on the vaccine supply.

Nine city-operated immunization clinics are scheduled to open on or before April 1, to operate seven days per week, nine hours per day. The city estimates that more than 120,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses will be administered each week through the city-operated clinics.

The setup of five of these nine clinics is already complete, with officials currently preparing the sixth location at Mitchell Field Community Centre in Willowdale.

Other immunization clinics will be operated via hospitals, Ontario Health teams, community partners, mobile clinics, targeted community response, and through family doctors and pharmacies. At this time (based on the current vaccine supply) health officials have identified a number of community clinics that will include:

  • 49 planned vaccination clinics to be operated by hospitals and Ontario Health Teams (on site and elsewhere, including parking lots).
  • 46 planned vaccination clinics to be operated by community health centres.
  • 249 pharmacies that will begin to operate with provincial direction

Toronto Mayor John Tory called it “the largest vaccination effort in the city’s history,” but said he is very confident we will meet this challenge.

“I know people are tired of this pandemic and want it to be over – the vaccines are the best and ultimate weapon in fighting COVID-19. That’s why we have worked quickly, with the help of our excellent Toronto hospitals and other healthcare partners to get our most vulnerable residents vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Tory said in a statement.

The City program includes a strategy to reach vulnerable populations, by utilizing five mobile teams (with support from Toronto Paramedic Services) to provide vaccinations. These teams will be dispatched to locations such as shelters, food programs, and drop-in centres, as well as reach high-risk individuals living in Toronto Community Housing when needed.

To combat vaccine hesitance, the city plans to recruit 280 neighbourhood ambassadors to promote vaccines in their communities. These ambassadors will be trusted local leaders that will help direct community members to where they can be vaccinated. The City is also collaborating with members from 140 community agencies, who will go door-to-door to promote vaccines and help identify locations for mobile and pop-up clinics.

In a press statement, the city provided a reminder that successful implementation of the programs depends on many areas of cooperation (i.e., with the province, Ontario Health, and health sector partners). When Torontonians can be vaccinated is in accordance with provincial priorities, and vaccine allotments for Toronto are determined by the provincial government.

Last Wednesday, the provincial government announced that an online portal for people to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Ontario will be launched on March 15. People 80 and over will be able to book their appointments first beginning on March 22. In April, people over 75 will be able to book. This will be followed by people over the age of 70 in May, and people aged 65 and over in June.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case count fell for the fifth straight day. On Tuesday, the province reported 966 new COVID-19 cases  (a decrease from the 1,023 new cases reported on Monday, 1,062 cases reported on Sunday, 1,185 cases reported on Saturday, and 1,258 cases reported on Friday). There were 253 new cases reported in Toronto on Tuesday along with 223 in Peel, and 99 in York Region.

The province also reported 11 more deaths.

As of 8:00 p.m. Monday, 727,021 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted.

Click here for more information on City-operated clinics and here for more up-to-date COVID news.

Article exclusive to TRNTO