Toronto police to patrol immunization sites as vaccinations for kids aged 5 to 11 ramp up
A logo at the Toronto Police Services headquarters, in Toronto, on Friday, August 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
TORONTO -- Toronto police say charges could be laid against those who will cause trouble at immunization sites in the city that could hinder families from getting their children their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a tweet Friday evening, police said officers will be deployed near clinics and will patrol over the coming days.
"Their safety is of utmost importance and interference, or obstruction will not be tolerated. Charges will be laid if warranted," police tweeted.
Const. David Hopkinson told CP24 Friday that the directive came from interim Police Chief James Ramer in response to some concerns expressed by the community.
The city said its five immunization clinics will be running at full capacity this weekend as vaccinations for children aged five to 11 ramp up.
"It's a directive to the officers to be a bit more vigilant," Hopkinson said. "He's directed officers to pay a little bit more attention to the vaccination sites."
Earlier this week, protesters gathered outside a clinic in Windsor as children got their first dose of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine.
Hopkinson said Toronto police have not received any reports of incidents at vaccination clinics but warned that any disruption will not be permitted.
"This is more a proactive measure by the chief to try and provide safety for families that are visiting vaccination sites and to alleviate some concerns," he said.
"If a parent has decided that they think it's safe for their child to be vaccinated, they have the right to go into those vaccination clinics. They have the right to get the vaccination, and nobody should impede them from doing it. It will not be tolerated."