The City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners have launched a “Homebound Sprint” to deliver first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to all remaining homebound Toronto residents.
The team focused on vaccinating homebound Torontonians in their place of residence has already administered a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 65 per cent of those residents, in many cases also vaccinating the resident’s essential caregiver at the same time.
Adults 18 years of age or older who live in Toronto and cannot physically leave their home to receive the vaccine for medical, physical, cognitive or psychosocial reasons are eligible for in-home vaccination. As of May 24, nearly 7,000 individuals have registered for in-home vaccination through their primary care physicians, homecare service providers or self-referrals. More than 4,600 of the identified individuals – and in many cases their caregivers – have now received their first dose of vaccine. The team is working to administer in-home first doses to the remaining approximately 2,400 homebound residents over the next two weeks.
Team Toronto partners leading the homebound initiative are Toronto Paramedic Services, Toronto Public Health, Home and Community Services and University Health Network (UHN). Local homebound sprint partners, including Downtown East Toronto Ontario Health Team (OHT), East Toronto Health Partners, Mid-West Toronto OHT, North Toronto OHT, North York Toronto Health Partners, North Western Toronto OHT, Sinai Health, Scarborough Health Network, Sprint Senior Care, Toronto Western Family Health Team and West Toronto OHT are also helping to ensure all identified residents receive a vaccination.
Homebound vaccination is a complex operation, requiring significant logistical coordination to ensure all vaccines get into arms in a timely manner. The limited time that the vaccine can be out of freezers is just one factor that adds to the complexity of this operation. The “Homebound Sprint” builds on work started in March by Toronto Paramedics, with the support of UHN and Local Integrated Health Networks, to vaccinate homebound Torontonians. The City is proud of Toronto Paramedics and all Team Toronto partners for their work to ensure no one in the city who wishes to be vaccinated is left behind.
Anyone with questions about homebound vaccination should speak with their primary care or homecare service provider. Homebound individuals not linked with either a primary or homecare provider, can call the Toronto Seniors Helpline by phone at 416-217-2077 or online: www.torontoseniorshelpline.ca/web-chat. The helpline is available to support homebound adults and seniors to determine eligibility for an in-home COVID-19 vaccination. The helpline can also assist those who are able to leave their homes for vaccinations with information regarding transportation options or with booking an appointment at a City-run immunization clinic.
Vaccination for everyone age 12 and older is available at City-run immunization clinics. Appointments can be booked by residents through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900. Those seeking a vaccine appointment can also register and check availability with healthcare partners through https://vaccineto.ca/, local pharmacies or healthcare providers. Transportation support is available for those that need help getting to their appointment.
To easily connect to resources including vaccine appointment bookings, information on vaccines and upcoming telephone town halls, Toronto residents can text “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888 or 833-750-0888 for more information.
For the current wave of COVID-19 in Toronto, amplified by variants of concern, staying home and following public health guidance is the best way to keep everyone safe. Please review the City’s COVID-19: Guide for Residents for public health guidance and information on what is and is not permitted under provincial regulations and City bylaws: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-guide-for-toronto-residents/.
“Thank you to everyone who is working on this important Team Toronto effort right across the city to get our homebound residents vaccinated. This work takes time, care, and coordination to make sure we maximize each day as we go home by home to get individuals vaccinated. It is one more example of the City and our healthcare partners doing everything we can to get every resident vaccinated.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Our Team Toronto approach is committed to breaking down every barrier and building every bridge to vaccination. That includes ensuring that people who have challenges leaving their home can easily access the COVID-19 vaccine. With our dedicated Toronto Public Health staff, paramedics, and health care partners, we have now rapidly scaled up a new push to get vaccines to homebound residents and their caregivers.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
“Equitable vaccine distribution and roll-out are essential for those who face barriers to vaccination. We know that one population facing barriers are homebound adults who cannot – or rarely – leave their homes. Partners and service providers from across our city have come together to ensure no one is left behind."
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“Toronto Paramedic Services is proud to support this important initiative. Our Community Paramedics have responded to the needs of homebound and vulnerable residents for many years, and in a number of capacities. We are pleased to be able to build on our experience and expertise to help ensure Torontonians have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations.”
– Chief Gord McEachen, Toronto Paramedic Services
“Every single in-home vaccination requires significant care and coordination. Success requires us all to take an integrated care and delivery approach and this huge lift would not be possible without the tremendous city-wide leadership and collaboration from primary care, home and community service providers, hospitals and Ontario Health Teams.”
– Shiran Isaacksz, Vice-President, UHN Connected Care and Altum Health