City of Toronto expanding walk-in vaccination to four City-run clinics

As of noon tomorrow, the City of Toronto is making walk-in vaccinations available at four City-run immunization clinics, including the Toronto Congress Centre clinic that opened to walk-ins yesterday. Moving forward, walk-in vaccinations will be available daily from noon to 7 p.m. for anyone age 18 or older to receive a first or second dose mRNA vaccine at the City-run Toronto Congress Centre, Cloverdale Mall, The Hangar and Metro Toronto Convention Centre clinics.

Walk-in appointments provide added convenience and lower barriers for people who do not have regular access to the internet, work varying hours or have family commitments. A health card is not needed for a walk-in vaccination; a person need only attend the clinic with some form of identification.

Yesterday the City opened walk-in vaccinations at the Toronto Congress Centre vaccination clinic. Between noon and 7 p.m., 318 people attended the clinic for walk-in vaccination. At the busiest time, a person was attending the clinic for a walk-in vaccination every two minutes. The City is continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of the walk-in program and considering expanding walk-in appointments based on clinic capacity and appointment availability.

Starting Saturday, walk-ins can attend four City-run vaccination clinics:

  1. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 277 Front St. W.
  2. Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.
  3. The Hangar, 75 Carl Hall Rd.
  4. Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall

All City-operated vaccination clinics administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine to everyone age 18 and older. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for youth 12 to 17.

The City is urging every adult who needs a first dose or can accelerate their second dose to attend a clinic for a walk-in vaccination or make a vaccination appointment as soon as possible in the provincial booking system Opens in new window. More than 150,000 Torontonians have vaccination appointments in August, September and October that could be moved to July. The City is reaching out by text and email to people with late summer and early fall appointments to explain the importance of being fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

Two doses of vaccine are the best protection against COVID-19 and the virus’ variants of concern, including the more infectious Delta variant circulating in Toronto. Vaccination coverage – including full vaccination with two doses – is also a key consideration of the provincial reopening strategy and timing to move to Step Three. For Step Three reopening, provincewide vaccination coverage is required to be 70 to 80 per cent first dose and 25 per cent full vaccination in adults.

People who are fully vaccinated are asked to reach out to family and friends who may be hesitant about vaccination or the “mixed mRNA model” second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are incredibly similar with near identical efficacy rates and a “mixed mRNA model” is approved by both the federal and provincial governments. People can also easily connect to resources including vaccine appointment bookings and information on vaccines by texting “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888 or 833-750-0888.

Appointments for City-run immunization clinics can be booked by residents through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

Quotes:

“Yesterday, walk-in vaccinations got shots in the arms of more than 300 people who otherwise would have no or only partial protection against COVID-19. Further opening walk-in availability is the right thing to do. Anyone needing a first or second dose with 30 minutes to spare can now head to any of the four clinics open to walk-ins and leave knowing they have done their part to keep their loved ones and community safe from COVID-19 and the Delta variant.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant – the sooner that Torontonians can get both shots and be fully vaccinated, the better. Opening up walk-in vaccinations at more of our City-run clinics will reduce barriers and increase accessibility for people across our city. There’s no time like the present to get vaccinated and help to keep our city safe.”

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

“Getting fully vaccinated is our best defense against COVID-19 and its variants. It’s also key to helping us sustain our progress to end this pandemic so we can get back to enjoying our city together. Now that our local vaccine supply has increased, we’ve added more convenient ways to get vaccinated.  I encourage all residents to roll up their sleeve to get their first dose if they haven’t already, and to move up their second dose appointment to an earlier date to get the best protection sooner.”

– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

“I am very pleased that a number of people have already taken advantage of the opportunity for walk-in vaccine service at the Toronto Congress Centre. Beginning tomorrow, we are able to expand the walk-in vaccine program to include three additional clinic locations, which will provide residents with over more opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  Our Immunization Task Force will continue to monitor bookings and clinic operations daily and we will continue to make expanded walk-in services available as soon as possible.”

– Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management and COVID-19 Incident Commander

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