Pop-up vaccine clinics open in Toronto and here's what you need to know
Pop-up vaccine clinics in Toronto have begun operating in an effort to vaccinate the city's most vulnerable residents living in hot-spot areas, but many have been more than slightly confused about the program's rollout — and rightfully so.
Premier Doug Ford announced the beginning of Phase 2 of Ontario's vaccine plan last week, explaining that mobile health teams would begin vaccinating residents aged 18 and older living in hot-spot areas by coming directly to residential buildings, faith-based centres, large workplaces and other "congregate settings" to provide shots on site.
And while the 53 postal codes considered to be hot spots were released soon after, further details about how and when these pop-up clinics will function were not.
If you are 50+ and live in one of 53 hot spot areas, identified by postal code, you can book your #COVID19 vaccination appointment at https://t.co/9Unc5FtjZu or call 1-888-999-6488. Residents 60+ years of age can book appointments regardless of where they live in #Toronto. pic.twitter.com/PaKgV5WswA— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) April 12, 2021
But despite the lack of a publicly-available plan, the pop-up vaccination program is already underway.
"Following last week's provincial announcement, the Team Toronto approach is shifting further towards vaccinating essential workers where they live – in areas where we know there are high COVID-19 case counts," says the city. "Hospital and healthcare partners have clinics up and running vaccinating residents in hot spot neighbourhoods right now."
Pop-up vaccine clinics set up shop in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park last week, two of the city's hardest-hit neighbourhoods, and a pop-up site in Thorncliffe Park resulted in roughly 2,400 residents receiving doses over the weekend.
A nurse administers a COVID19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Dar-Us-Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in #toronto Thousands of people have lined up over the weekend for vaccine doses at the mosque in the hard hit neighbourhood. #covidontario #covidvacccine pic.twitter.com/kAemUUtUXy— Frank Gunn (@frankgunnphoto) April 11, 2021
Unfortunately, people aged 18 and older who live in these hot-spot neighbourhoods cannot currently book appointments using the provincial booking system and can only access vaccines by lining up outside pop-up sites with proof of address when they come to each area.
The more people get vaccinated, the faster we’re going to beat this pandemic. Thank you to all our health partners, community ambassadors and leaders who were involved in making the pop-up vaccination clinic at Masjid Darussalam a success #ThorncliffeStrong pic.twitter.com/2l5bt5k158— TNO-THE NEIGHBOURHOOD ORGANIZATION (@TNOtoronto) April 9, 2021
But Mayor John Tory told CP24 Monday that this is something he hopes to see changed soon.
Over the last week, @ETHPnews ran six mobile pop-up vaccine clinics, administering 4,168 doses to those living in neighbourhoods disproportionately affected by #COVID19. This brings our total doses administered last week to 17,300. #TeamToronto #TeamVaccine 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Kj3OK7Lthk— MGH / TEHN (@MGHToronto) April 12, 2021
"As of yet, it is not possible for the 18-plus people, as opposed to those 50 and over, to use the provincial registration system," he said, "but we're working on that with the province and hopefully before too long it will be possible for 18-plus people in hot-spot neighbourhoods to use the provincial registration system."
For now, only those born in 1961 or earlier and those aged 50 or older who live in hot-spot neighbourhoods can book vaccination appointments online or by phone.
Everyone else who's eligible will simply have to wait for the announcement about when and where pop-clinics will be operating in each hot-spot neighbourhood.
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