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Data suggests highest risk Toronto neighbourhoods have lowest vaccination rates

Last Updated Apr 7, 2021 at 10:44 am EDT

Toronto neighbourhoods that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic also have some of the lowest vaccination rates.

But according to data by ICES, broken down by postal code, the richest neighbourhoods with the lower risk rank among those where the most residents are rolling up their sleeves.

In the Jane and Finch area in the city’s northwest corner, a neighbourhood where the concentration of poverty and multi-generational households is high, just over 5 per cent of residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine. It marks the lowest rate of any area in the city.

Compare that to the wealthy Moore Park area in Midtown Toronto, near St. Clair and Mount Pleasant, where just over 22 per cent of residents have received at least one dose.

Dr. Andrew Boozary, the executive director of social medicine at University Health Network, says systemic discrimination has led to the discrepancy and the data is showing the same tale of two pandemics in who is being saved.

Tom Rakocevic, the NDP MPP for Humber River-Black Creek which includes the Jane and Finch area, says this is unacceptable and is urging the Ford government to immediately get vaccines into hard-hit communities.

The province provided details into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Tuesday announcing that people aged 60-and-older can begin booking vaccine appointments through the online portal as of Wednesday.

The Ford government has also released a list of postal codes where vaccines will be available to anyone 50 and older in COVID-19 hotspots and which includes the hardest hit areas in Toronto and the GTA.

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