City of Toronto working with healthcare and community partners to launch Phase 2 vaccine rollout in priority neighbourhoods

The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health are working with healthcare partners and community leaders from across Toronto to ensure that Phase 2 vaccines get into the arms that need them most.

In the “Team Toronto” plan for Phase 2, working in partnership, Toronto Public Health, hospitals, Ontario Health Teams, doctors in the community and mobile and pop-up teams to bring vaccines directly to high-risk groups, including high-risk neighbourhoods and essential workers. The plan was created incorporating community feedback, including neighbourhood strategy elements. Team Toronto will be using every dose available to protect the most vulnerable.

Public health officials have been very clear that vaccines must get to the 111 hot spot neighbourhoods that need it the most and this data driven approach will ensure essential workers and their families get vaccinated. Ontario Health Teams and hospital mobile clinics and pop-ups will be vaccinating people age 18 and older in these neighbourhoods, identified by their postal codes. Starting Friday, residents age 50 and older in high-risk areas as identified by postal code will be able to book vaccine appointments at City-run clinics.

The Phase 2 plan includes:

  • A high-priority neighbourhood strategy to bring vaccine to people living in areas with high-incidents of COVID-19, leveraging fixed vaccination hubs, immunization clinics and employing mobile and pop-up clinics
  • Workplace vaccination pilot programs for at-risk essential workers
  • A mobile strategy for people living in high-risk congregate living settings, including older adults and those with high-risk health conditions
  • Coordination of Toronto’s vaccine allocation from the Province of Ontario to meet Phase 2 priorities and balance vaccine distribution between clinic operations and mobile operations to meet community needs in high-risk areas
Phase 2 rollout will continue over the coming weeks. Right now, all partners continue to carry out Phase 1 vaccination priorities and expand Phase 2 pilot programs. Anyone currently eligible for vaccination, regardless of where they live in Toronto, is urged to book a vaccine as soon as possible. Booking, transportation and translation information, as well as a link to make your appointment at a City-run vaccination clinic is on www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or available by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488.

On Monday, April 12 at 11 a.m., the City will open the final three City-operated vaccination clinics in Toronto:

  • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall
  • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Carmine Stefano Community Centre, 3100 Weston Rd.
Community interest in these new clinics is very high, with all three being nearly fully booked for the first few days of operation. As of Monday, all nine of the City-operated vaccination clinics will be open and with a weekly vaccination capacity of more than 8,000 doses per day.

The nine City-operated clinics are part of a vaccination network that includes hundreds of clinics operated by health sector partners including hospitals and pharmacies. A map of vaccination options in Toronto is available on the City’s COVID-19: Vaccine Clinic Locations webpage.

Those over age 55 are also eligible to be vaccinated at some pharmacies. To find participating pharmacies, visit the provincial booking system website: covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ Opens in new window. Toronto residents born in 1961 or earlier who want to be vaccinated at a participating hospital-based clinic can view their options and book through hospital-based booking systems listed at vaccineto.ca Opens in new window or by calling 1-888-385-1910.

Getting as many people as possible vaccinated will stop future waves of COVID-19 and protect our healthcare system and wider community. For the current wave of COVID-19 in Toronto, amplified by variants of concern, staying home except when absolutely necessary – for example, to attend a vaccination appointment – and following public health guidance including wearing a mask and physical distancing is the best way to keep everyone safe. The City’s COVID-19: Guide for Toronto Residents has recommended and mandatory public health measures under provincial regulations and City bylaws.

Quotes:

“Our public health officials have been clear that we must all focus our efforts on hot spot neighbourhoods in our city and the easiest way for people to access a vaccination is by postal code. So we are working with hospitals and other healthcare teams, and our own City teams, to operate more mobile and pop-up vaccine sites in hot spot neighbourhoods as soon as possible. We have to get shots in arms in areas where they are needed most. There is an absolute need to vaccinate essential workers and this plan will ensure we bring vaccines to the 111 neighbourhoods that we know are COVID-19 hot spots and where essential workers and their families live.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Right now, our top priority is protecting the most vulnerable, in order to save lives and reduce hospitalizations. That’s why we have adjusted our Team Toronto immunization strategy to focus on a targeted hot-spot neighbourhood and workplace approach. It’s a plan to bring vaccines to the neighbourhoods that are hardest hit, and where frontline essential workers live. By adopting a targeted and data-driven approach, while continuing to scale up vaccinations at our City-run mass immunization clinics, we can get shots into the arms of those who are most at risk as quickly as possible.”

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

“By including specific focus in our vaccination plan, we begin to create a new frontline of immunized people who were most at risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19, but whom through their vaccination now give COVID nowhere to go. This, in turn, creates a protective benefit for everyone. If need be, our approach can be adapted again to reflect the circumstances of highest risk and need, and to produce the greatest benefit to the largest number of people.”

– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

“Our Immunization Task Force continues to be focused on vaccinating as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. We are looking forward to launching the final three City-Operated vaccine clinics on Monday, April 12 located at Cloverdale Mall, North Toronto Memorial Community Centre and Carmine Stefano Community Centre. I continue to urge eligible residents to book their vaccination appointment today and help put COVID-19 behind us once and for all.”

– Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management

“Humber River Hospital and our North Western Toronto OHT partners have been actively partnering for the last few months on mobile outreach to reach the most vulnerable in our community. We have a large geography and need support and increased amount of vaccine to accomplish this task. We continue to look to the City and Toronto Public Health to support these efforts.”

– Barb Collins, President and CEO, Humber River Hospital

“We are breaking down barriers to make COVID-19 vaccinations more accessible in high-risk neighbourhoods in Toronto, which means bringing vaccines to those who need it most,” says Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO of Unity Health Toronto. “This coordinated outreach by the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health, hospitals and Ontario Health Teams means residents in priority neighbourhoods will have access to mobile and pop-up clinics, as well as home visits for those with mobility challenges. I want to thank everyone involved in this important, collaborative initiative that puts vulnerable residents at the centre of care.”

– Tim Rutledge, President and CEO, Unity Health Toronto

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