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City notes rise in aggressive behaviour at vaccine clinics 'totally unacceptable'

Last Updated Jun 9, 2021 at 11:24 pm EDT

City officials say they are concerned about a rise in aggressive behaviour towards staff at the City-run vaccination clinics.

Mayor John Tory says he’s received reports of people attempting to bully their way into receiving a second dose or refusing to follow the rules when inside the clinics, calling it “completely and totally unacceptable.”

“We’re hearing reports of racist and sexist comments targeting employees and of harassing behaviour,” said Tory.

“I know its a very, very small minority who would even think of doing that but …it has to come to an end and it won’t be tolerated.”

While Chief Matthew Pegg couldn’t provide numbers on how many of these incidents they have had to deal with, he said the majority are from people who’ve been told they aren’t allowed to snap pictures inside the clinics. He says that is done in order to protect personal health information.

Meanwhile, a warning from Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, not to get too comfortable as we inch closer to the first stage of the province’s reopening plan this weekend.

“COVID-19 is a nimble virus and doesn’t seem ready to go away quickly or easily,” she said.

“We are nearing the finish line – we don’t want to turn it into an obstacle course.”

De Villa noted there are currently 122 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in the city, and while that may not sound like a lot, “we have seen what happens when a variant suddenly explodes.”

She pointed out that while 72 per cent of adults in Toronto have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is only 33 per cent effective against the latest variant.

“The Delta variant is a force to be reckoned with; more transmissible, more infectious,” she said.

“If you’ve had a first dose don’t overestimate its protective power. There are two dose vaccines for a reason; I ask that you please make it your mission to show up for both.”

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