Toronto to walk-in to mass vax site as city tries to ‘close the gap’ on coronavirus vaccination – .

Toronto to walk-in to mass vax site as city tries to ‘close the gap’ on coronavirus vaccination – .

Toronto is launching a call center, rolling out a multilingual vaccination campaign, and will begin making walk-in appointments at one of its mass vaccination sites in an attempt to get shots in the parties city ​​with low use of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As we have a large number of appointments available, we have made the decision to allow walk-in appointments at the Immunization Clinic at the Toronto Convention Center,” Mayor John Tory said at the meeting. ‘a briefing on Wednesday.

Starting Thursday, 2,000 walk-in vaccines per day will be available at the Toronto Congress Center for those 18 and over. Walk-in shots will be available from noon to 7 p.m.

This is the first time that Toronto will offer walk-in appointments at one of its mass vaccination sites, which will also continue to book appointments.

The move comes a day after the city reported there were thousands of missed appointments at the Dixon Road mass vaccination site. As of Tuesday evening, the city said there were still more than 2,600 appointments available the next day at the Convention Center. A day earlier, the city said there were 2,500 next day appointments available for Tuesday.

Tory said the city was making the move as part of an effort to “close the gap” between residents on one dose and those on two, especially in parts of the city where immunizations are lower. Health officials said two injections were much more protective against the more contagious Delta variant first identified in India.

“We need to bridge the gap between the over 50 percent who were fully immunized and received two doses, and the high percentage of 70 who received only one dose,” Tory said.

Chief Matthew Pegg said the city will monitor walk-in visits to the Toronto Convention Center and may expand walk-in visits to other mass vaccination sites if warranted.

“We will be monitoring this very closely and evaluating the effectiveness of this and if of course it proves to be effective, which I am sure it will be, it could give us the opportunity to extend this to others. clinics, ”Pegg said. .

Pegg added that the city’s mass vaccination sites are now operating at full capacity thanks to a plentiful supply of vaccines and that 90% of the doses given at the sites are now second doses.

The city also announced that it will launch a “Home Stretch Vaccine Push” on Saturday, a week-long hyper-local vaccination initiative targeting several priority neighborhoods. They include Elms-Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village – The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston (Black Creek / Humber) and Englemount-Lawrence.

The clinics will primarily administer the Pfizer vaccine and offer flexible afternoon and evening hours to accommodate frontline workers in and near buildings where residents live.

“The goal of the home vaccination campaign is to encourage uptake in neighborhoods that currently have the lowest vaccination rates by removing remaining barriers to access,” Tory said.

He pointed out as an example that while 77 percent of Toronto residents across the city received a first dose, only 59 percent of residents in the northwestern part of the city received a first dose. In that region, only 36% received a second dose, compared to about 50% in the whole city.

The effort will be promoted in multiple languages ​​using call centers, social media, SMS and other platforms.

When asked why vaccination might be lower in these areas, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said there were a number of reasons, including unusual working hours and historical mistrust of health authorities.

“Access is one of them. We have heard from a number of people you know have some time in the day when you are busy with jobs at irregular hours, it is not always easy to get to the immunization clinics, ”said de Villa. “So certainly having access, having the vaccination clinic available at different times, close to home, which does not require a lot of travel, is something that is certainly a problem.

“I think there has also been some historical mistrust of health care and I think we have to be very honest and up front about it. “

She said the city is working with community partners to try to get the message across that vaccines are a protective service that are offered to the community.

Starting today, the city is also launching a VaxTO call center to reach people in areas with low vaccination rates. Call centers will help people make first and second dose appointments and will have the capacity to reach 4,100 people per week in multiple languages.


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