Hundreds of thousands of Torontonians between the ages of 40 and 49 can claim the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at clinics across the city starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Expanding the number of people who can book vaccine appointments at the city’s nine clinics in the provincial reservation system adds more than 300,000 residents to a list that, after a series of adjustments, was open across the board. the city to people aged 50 and over.
Torontonians can book through the city’s website by clicking the blue button at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ or by calling the provincial vaccine reservation line at 1-833-943-3900.
The city’s clinics are part of the largest immunization effort in Toronto history, including hospitals and community health agencies that have lowered their age of immunization eligibility to 18 in 53 postcodes designated as virus hot spots.
50,000 more appointments are added from May 17 to 23 to meet an expected increase in bookings at the city’s clinics which, unlike mobile and pop-up vaccination operations, require people to book in advance.
Mayor John Tory told a briefing Wednesday that Toronto has become the first Canadian city to administer 1.5 million doses of the vaccine. More than half of adult Torontonians have received a first dose, but less than 4% are fully immunized.
While authorities had to implore residents to make appointments when the eligibility age was higher, appointments for the city’s clinics are now filling up quickly, with more than 15,000 people booking between Monday. and Wednesday.
“There is a growing momentum in the vaccination campaign…” Toronto’s chief public health officer Dr. Eileen de Villa told reporters.
“We are not far now to see how the protection provided by vaccines begins to significantly reverse the (pandemic) trend in our favor.
New daily infections and new hospitalizations in Toronto have declined steadily since the peak of the pandemic on April 16, easing pressure on the health care system.
Officials attribute the success of Toronto’s vaccination to their strategy of targeting much of the local vaccine supply in neighborhoods most vulnerable to the virus, including essential workers and those with overcrowded living conditions.
Conservatives and other local leaders in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area have urged the Ontario government to extend the supply of additional vaccines for last week and this week to hotspots of the virus, many of them by two weeks. in Toronto and the region of Peel.
Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, who oversees the vaccine deployment in Toronto, said the province’s return to strictly per capita vaccine distribution across Ontario could reduce doses for city clinics by about 98,000 this week to about 60,000 doses later.
Tory said, “What cures people and stops the spread of this virus, and improves the health of people in the city of Toronto and the Toronto area, will be good for all of Ontario,” by reducing the overall spread and by helping end the pandemic faster.
A spokeswoman for Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, who is overseeing the provincial vaccine rollout, said the supplemental hot spot vaccine will end this week, but Pfizer’s overall increase in supplies should prevent vaccine drops.
“We are able to increase the allocation of vaccines distributed to hot spot communities to 50 percent of all vaccines for the weeks of May 3 and May 10…” Stephen Warner said in an email. “After the week of May 10, all vaccines will be allocated based on population.”
Vaccine supplies for May are double that of April, he added, saying the province’s plan ensures that public health units “won’t have any vaccines to take home and won’t have to. cancel appointments already booked for the next four weeks.
The deployment plan, he said, also commits “significant new resources in sensitive neighborhoods based on a significant increase in supply both during the reassignment period and beyond.”