Toronto is launching a focused one-week vaccination push that will prioritize six neighbourhoods in the city where vaccination rates are low.
The initiative – called ‘The Home Stretch Vaccine Push’ – will begin on Saturday and aims to encourage vaccine uptake and eliminate barriers to access in the selected neighbourhoods.
“With over 50 per cent of adults now fully vaccinated in the city, we need to keep the momentum going, which means focusing our efforts on areas with the lowest vaccination rates,” says Mayor John Tory in a statement.
“The Home Stretch Vaccine Push aims to remove all remaining barriers to vaccination starting with residents living in the north-west area of the city. The aim is to ensure that all Torontonians who want a vaccine are able to receive one in the most convenient way and at the most convenient location possible.”
Toronto marked a milestone on Thursday surpassing one million vaccine doses administered at city-operated vaccine clinics.
More than a dozen clinics are being planned during a blitz this weekend.
- Elms – Old Rexdale 53
- Kingsview Village – The Westway 50
- Mount Dennis 29
- Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown 55
- Weston 67
- Englemount-Lawrence 36
The city says the clinics during the blitz be “predominantly administering the Pfizer vaccine” for first and second doses. The clinics will have flexible hours and be setup in close proximity to building where residents live.
The campaign is a partnership between the city, Team Toronto, University Health Network and Michael Garron Hospital.
One of the areas in the city with the lowest vaccination rate is not included in the list of priority neighbourhoods.
Only 39.7 per cent adults in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood are fully vaccinated – compared to the city-wide number of 51 per cent.
Only 51 per cent of residents in the neighbourhood are partially vaccinated. That is the lowest rate in the city.
The second through seventh ranked neighbourhoods by that metric are all included.
No reason has been given for the exclusion of Taylor-Massey but it could be that the COVID-19 infection rate there is much lower than the six that were selected.
The neighbourhood has a recent case rate of 19 per 100,000, which is less than half of the average recent case rate (48.3 per 100,000) of the six neighbourhoods that were selected.
Public health regions will now have new data at their disposal to help target outreach of vaccinations.
Sociodemographic data that’s been voluntarily collected at vaccine clinics will be shared with public health units starting on Friday.
Data covers race, ethnic origin, language, household income and household size.
Officials say it can’t be used for purposes other than the vaccine rollout.
With files from the Canadian Press