Toronto to triple COVID-19 vaccine doses in 13 hot spot zones
COVID-19 vaccine recipients are photographed at the Downsview Arena vaccination site, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
TORONTO -- Toronto is launching a mobile vaccination program to triple the amount of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the city’s “hottest” hot spot zones over the next two weeks.
Mayor John Tory announced on Wednesday that the city has partnered with Toronto Public Health, hospitals and community health centres to create a new mobile vaccination “sprint strategy” to administer incoming vaccine supply to the city’s highest priority areas.
The city says it is expecting a regular boost in vaccine shipments from the province in the coming weeks and that the strategy will start next week.
Thirteen priority areas have been identified by postal code where these mobile and pop-up clinics will be implemented, including:
- Northwest: M9W, M9V, M9L, M9M, M9N, M6M, M3K, M3J, M3N, M3M
- Central: M4H
- East: M1J, M1G
Residents living in these areas aged 18 and older are eligible for a vaccine.
“The first of these strategy sprint clinics in Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and Thorncliffe Park come together because our community partners go door-to-door encouraging people to get vaccinated,”Tory said at a COVID-19 news conference on Wednesday.
“We bring the vaccines, we bring the vaccinators and they bring the community to get vaccinated.”
The strategy aims to allocate 12,000 doses a week in these hot spot zones, more than tripling the number of people that can be vaccinated in community clinics.
The city says 14 vaccination engagement teams are also recruiting 280 resident ambassadors from across the city to support the rollout of this strategy.
Details about pop-up clinics, including date, time and location, are relayed to eligible local residents through family doctors, employers, building managers, faith leaders and other local leaders, the city said.
In addition, the city plans to increase the number of jabs into arms at the nine city-run vaccination clinics next month, depending on vaccine supply.
Starting on May 10, staffing and resources are expected to be enhanced at the following locations:
- Scarborough Town Centre – 25 per cent increase
- Malvern Community Recreation Centre – 25 per cent increase
- Carmine Stefano Community Centre – 20 per cent increase
- The Hangar Sport and Event Centre – 25 per cent increase
Once these additional immunizers are in place, the city-run clinics are expected to be administering nearly 8,600 doses per day, resulting in the total potential vaccination of more than 60,000 people per week.
Tory also said that a new block of roughly 231,000 appointments at these clinics from May 10 to June 6 is expected to be available soon through the province’s online booking system.
Currently, people aged 60 and older, people 50 and older living in hot spot areas and other priority groups are eligible for a shot at city-run clinics.
The nine city-run mass immunization clinics are currently operating seven days a week.