The city of Toronto is launching #DaysofVaxtion, a flurry of pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics aimed at the roughly 314,000 eligible Torontonians who are not yet fully protected from the virus and are most vulnerable during the pandemic’s ongoing fourth wave.
Mayor John Tory announced the Thursday-to-Sunday campaign on Wednesday, calling it a “mega-event” comprised of “micro clinics” — “smaller pop-up clinics placed exactly where we know people need to get vaccinated and where we know people will be in the coming days.”
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The vaccination campaign is an aggressive “data-driven approach” aimed at those who are still vaccine-hesitant — roughly 15% of the population, according to Toronto Public Health, with 5% to 6% of those who are adamantly opposed to getting vaccinated, or “vaccine-resistant.”
There are still 314,000 eligible Torontonians who have not yet been fully vaccinated — 158,000 of whom have yet to receive even their first shot, according to Tory — as the city strives to surpass the province’s 90% target for halting the spread of COVID-19’s highly contagious Delta variant.
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“There isn’t much more to say other than get vaccinated if you haven’t already,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, at a press conference at city hall on Wednesday.
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Toronto Public Health will immunize people at TTC station
Staff from Toronto Public Health and hospital partners will immunize people at TTC stations, parks, malls, and schools, as well as three mobile pop-up sites along Yonge Street, a clinic at Trinity-Bellwoods Park, and the subway stations such as Sheppard, Islington, and
According to Ontario data, residents who have not yet received two vaccine doses are most at risk of becoming infected and becoming seriously ill and are driving the continued spread of COVID-19, which is extending the 18-month-old pandemic.
Tory stated that #DaysofVaxtion locations were chosen based on city data for areas with low vaccination rates or where indicators indicate a high risk of infection.
Organizers also looked for locations where Torontonians would pass by on a daily basis.
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The multi-clinic push to reach 90% of eligible Torontonians follows the June mega-clinic at Scotiabank Arena, where over 26,000 vaccine doses were administered in one day.
“We want as many people as possible to be protected from this terrible virus,” Tory said. “And I know that the more people who are vaccinated, the safer our entire city will be and the faster we will be able to make progress.
Toronto is also counting on the province’s proof-of-vaccination certificate and mandates, as well as vaccine mandates from many employers, including the city itself, to help drive up vaccination rates as high as possible.
Parts of Canada, including Alberta, where political and health leaders did not impose as many restrictions or place as much emphasis on vaccination mandates, are experiencing a crushing fourth wave, with overcrowded intensive care units — a fate that Ontario is attempting to avoid.
De Villa stated that they are closely monitoring COVID-19 cases in schools since students returned to in-class learning in September.
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“Right now, our biggest concern is the steady emergence of new cases of COVID-19 in schools,” she said. “This is to be expected given Delta’s transmissibility and the population of students under the age of 12 who, due to their age, cannot yet be vaccinated.”
While COVID-19 is likely to cause a mild case in children, more severe cases do occur, and the understanding of long COVID-19 is still evolving, according to de Villa, so the best outcome is to avoid new cases as much as possible.