'Strong start': More than 6K kids aged 5-11 have received COVID-19 vaccine at city-run clinics
A man arrives with two young girls for his shot at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto on Tuesday May 11, 2021. The two girls did not get vaccinated as children are not yet approved for COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
TORONTO -- The city says its campaign to vaccinate children aged five to 11 is off to a “successful” start, with more than 6,100 doses administered at its clinics in the first three days.
In a news release issued Sunday, the city said 6,134 children received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine at its five immunization clinics between Nov. 25 and Nov. 27.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, said in a statement that it’s an “encouraging accomplishment” for Toronto.
“So many five to 11 year old heroes are stepping up to protect themselves, their loved ones and our entire community against COVID-19,” de Villa said.
“Sincere thanks to Team Toronto partners for their continued efforts to protect all of us and to help us end this pandemic.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory also expressed his gratitude to families who helped their children get their shot.
“Our Team Toronto Kids COVID-19 vaccination plan is off to a busy and successful start,” Tory said. “Thank you as well to everyone working in all the Team Toronto clinics across Toronto this weekend to help people get vaccinated.”
The city is encouraging parents who have not booked their children for a vaccine appointment to do so, saying there are still slots available for next week and the week of Dec. 7.
It noted that it is adding more than 9,600 appointments for the week of Dec. 14 and Dec. 21.
The city has transformed its clinics to be more child-friendly. Kids will be given a superhero-themed vaccine passport, along with stickers, colouring sheets and a chance to have their picture taken at a superhero selfie station.
With pediatric vaccines also available at hospital-run clinics, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, schools and other sites, the city said it will provide the total number of children who have received the vaccine at all locations on Tuesday.
“After the difficult two years we’ve been through, it’s both emotional and uplifting to see the relief on parents and kids faces at our clinics,” said Coun. Joe Cressy, the chair of the Toronto Board of Health.
“Now, after a strong start, we just need to keep working to get our kids and our city vaccinated.”
The province reported Sunday that Toronto logged 129 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.