City of Toronto to receive enough COVID-19 vaccine to open three of its mass immunization clinics starting March 17

Toronto Mayor John Tory today announced that three of the City of Toronto’s mass immunization clinics will open early to vaccinate residents who are over the age of 80 starting on March 17.

The three City-run clinics to open on March 17 are:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Scarborough Town Centre
  • Toronto Congress Centre.
These clinics will operate seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Details on clinic operations, including how to book, will be available in the coming days. The City is working with the Province of Ontario to implement a booking system.

The Government of Canada procures vaccines, the province, then, distributes them to hospitals and public health units, and municipalities administer the vaccines to eligible residents using the prioritization framework established by the province.

A combination of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine will roll out to City-run and hospital partner clinics as follows:

  • Week of March 15 - 17,500 doses
  • Week of March 22 - 98,920 doses
  • Week of March 29 – 174,200 doses
  • Week of April 5 - 80,730 doses
  • Week of April 12 - 80,730 doses.
To date, just over 200,000 Toronto residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including those in long-term care homes, their essential caregivers, frontline healthcare workers, those experiencing homelessness and living in an emergency shelter, first responders and residents born on or before 1941.

This increase in vaccine supply now allows the City to begin operating these three clinics, leveraging lessons learned from the proof-of-concept clinic it operated in January and February. Preparation work on the remaining six City-run clinics is continuing and the sites will open as vaccine supply allows in the coming weeks. When fully operational, more than 1,400 staff will run all nine City clinics, including vaccinators, nurses, screening staff, clerical and administrative staff and cleaners.

The operational plans of the City’s clinic are fully scalable, with plans in place to increase the number of vaccines that can be administered monthly from 500,000 to approximately 975,000 as vaccine availability permits. The City has also planned, from the outset, to expand the hours of clinic operations, including to 24 hours – this would also rely on vaccine availability.

As more vaccine is allocated to Toronto by the province, health sector partners, like hospitals, community healthcare centres, pharmacies, City clinics and mobile clinics will operate a network of more than 350 clinics, all of which will vaccinate residents across Toronto. As vaccine supply becomes more plentiful, family doctors will also be able to vaccinate their patients across the city.

Currently, health sector partners in Toronto are vaccinating priority group residents – including people age 80 and over - by using the vaccine allocated to them directly by the province. Registration information for those eligible to be vaccinated by health sector partners can be found at vaccinateto.ca, a website and call centre (1-888-385-1910) announced earlier today by hospitals.

Quotes:

"This truly is a Team Toronto effort and we are all determined to get people vaccinated as fast as we can and as the supply of vaccine allows. After a year of combatting COVID-19, this vaccine supply news is great news. It means we are making important progress towards making sure everyone who wants the vaccine gets it. Every shot in every arm is a step towards putting this pandemic behind us."

- Mayor John Tory

"Since the Fall, our City of Toronto Immunization Task Force has been working around the clock to create a system of nine mass vaccination clinics, which have the capacity to scale up and provide nearly 1 million doses a month, as vaccine supply permits. Now that more supply has become available, all this planning has paid off. Alongside our hospital, community, and healthcare partners, Toronto is undertaking the largest immunization campaign in our country's history. It's a Team Toronto effort designed to ensure that every resident in every corner of our city can access the vaccine".

- Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Board of Health

"Vaccination is vital to countering the continued spread of COVID-19.  On behalf of Toronto Public Health I extend our thanks to all of our hospital and community health partners who are working hard to vaccinate residents as quickly as possible based on the provincial priority framework.  As more vaccines become available and as supply soon stabilizes, we will be continue this important progress toward protecting our community against this virus, and helping us to get back to life more like we remember before COVID-19."

- Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

"Our immunization task force has been hard at work since last Fall, ensuring that we are ready to go as soon as vaccines become available.  Opening these city-operated COVID-19 immunization clinics is a giant step forward in our collective effort to immunize Toronto residents".

- Matthew Pegg, Fire Chief & General Manager – Emergency Management

 

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