This week, a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic began operating at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Complex in a highly impacted area of North Etobicoke. The provincial government partnered with BAPS Charities, William Osler Health System and Toronto Public Health Unit to establish and operate the vaccination site.
The clinic is expected to run for three weeks and appointment bookings were opened through the William Osler Health System booking system to the surrounding highly impacted hot spot communities in postal codes M9R, M9V, M9W, L4T and L6S. Vaccinations began on Wednesday.
“As we receive more vaccines from the Federal government, it is vital that we continue to target our vaccination efforts on those most at risk,” said Premier Ford. “We must get vaccines to the people in these hot spot regions as quickly as possible in order to stop the spread of this virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. This pop-up clinic shows once again how our valued community partners have stepped up and are working with local public health in our collective battle against COVID-19.”
To slow the spread of the virus and protect communities with the highest rates of transmission, Ontario is rolling out vaccines to “hot spot” regions across the province as part of Phase Two of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Through this initiative, 114 highly impacted neighbourhoods, as identified by postal code, will be reached through mass immunization clinics, mobile teams and pop-up clinics in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, and faith-based locations.
Upcoming mobile and pop-up clinics like the ones at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Complex and Darussalam mosque in Thorncliffe Park will be promoted locally within their target communities and local public health units, and will not use the provincial booking system.
Individuals aged 18 and over in designated hot spots, as identified by postal code, are eligible for vaccination through mobile teams and pop-up clinics in targeted settings. Starting in Peel and Toronto, the province will be providing additional resources to support more mobile vaccination teams, expanding to hot spots in other public health units in the future.
The province says it is also working with public health units, business groups and large employers to explore employer-operated onsite vaccination clinics, with a focus on hot spot communities at greatest risk. These clinics will be set up, operated and funded by participating employers within hot spot areas and will vaccinate employees aged 18 and over as well as members of the local and neighbouring communities. This capacity will supplement publicly-run vaccination clinics.