Monday, May 20, 2024

Toronto begins flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at several clinics

Toronto Public Health (TPH) kicked off its annual campaign to combat COVID-19 and influenza (flu) in anticipation of a surge in respiratory illnesses this Fall.

In an effort to protect some of the most vulnerable residents, TPH is now offering COVID-19 vaccines at its fixed-site vaccination clinics. More than 4,250 new appointments have been added for the updated monovalent COVID-19 vaccine, with an additional 8,500 appointments in the coming days, so that residents can be vaccinated in advance of the colder months when people spend more time indoors.

“We are offering vaccines at TPH fixed-site vaccination clinics and deploying mobile clinics to locations like shelters, naturally occurring retirement communities, and newcomer agencies to ensure access for those who need it most. Additionally, we urge everyone to take this opportunity to get vaccinated, not only for your well-being but also to contribute to the overall health and safety of our community,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health.

TPH has a phased approach to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines based on eligibility criteria set by the Ontario Ministry of Health. The campaign will start with priority groups, including:

  • residents and staff in congregate living settings
  • people 65 years of age or older
  • pregnant individuals
  • children six months to four years of age
  • individuals who are from a First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community and/or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis and their household members
  • members of racialized and other equity-deserving communities
  • individuals with chronic underlying health conditions

Eligible high-risk residents can now book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at www.ontario.ca/book-vaccine.

In addition to the newly available COVID-19 vaccinations at TPH fixed-site vaccination clinics, TPH mobile clinics will offer COVID-19 and flu vaccines to residents of shelters and naturally occurring retirement communities and clients of newcomer agencies. Flu vaccines will also be available at more than 700 participating pharmacies for high-risk populations before they become available to the general public.

Starting October 31, all Torontonians will be able to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu vaccine at the same time at fixed-site vaccination clinics, pharmacies or primary health care providers. The general public can book their appointment at www.TPHbookings.ca starting October 25. Only one appointment will be required to get both vaccines at a TPH fixed-site vaccination clinic.

Free rapid antigen tests will also available at various city facilities across Toronto.

Residents can also stay informed on virus activity in the city by viewing TPH’s new integrated respiratory virus surveillance dashboard. TPH will provide weekly updates on flu and COVID-19 cases and all respiratory outbreaks in institutions and public hospitals.

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