Toronto shifts focus to 30 neighbourhoods with low vaccine uptake

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is shifting the city-wide COVID-19 vaccination approach to focus on neighbourhoods with the greatest need.

As part of this next phase of the vaccination, Team Toronto and TPH will shift resources to a hyper-local, equity-focused campaign and continue to increase vaccination opportunities in focused communities with low vaccine uptake. While significant progress has been made across the city and in certain age groups, disparity in vaccine uptake remains as some communities continue to experience hesitancy and barriers to vaccination, said officials.

This shift in resources will allow TPH to expand the number of mobile clinics and bring vaccines to communities where residents live, study, work and play, targeting 30 focused neighbourhoods, identified by an analysis of local, neighbourhood-level data.

They are:

• Agincourt North
• Agincourt South-Malvern West
• Black Creek
• Brookhaven-Amesbury
• Dorset Park
• Downsview-Roding-CFB
• Eglinton East
• Flemingdon Park
• Glenfield-Jane Heights
• Humbermede
• Kennedy Park
• Kingsview Village-The Westway
• L’Amoreaux
• Malvern
• Milliken
• Mount Dennis
• Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown
• North St.James Town
• Oakridge
• Rockcliffe-Smythe
• Scarborough Village
• South Parkdale
• Tam O’Shanter-Sullivan
• Thorncliffe Park
• West Hill
• West Humber-Clairville
• Westminster-Branson
• Weston
• Woburn
• York University Heights

The new strategy includes the expansion of clinics held at community centres and restarting mobile clinic operations at shopping malls.

As part of the City’s Shop And Vax campaign, 19 clinics will be held by TPH and Team Toronto partners across the city starting this Thursday, February 24 to Sunday, February 27, which includes:

• North York Sheridan Mall, 2202 Jane St., Unit 5, next to the Walmart (Friday, February 25 from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
• Lawrence Allen Centre, 700 Lawrence Ave. W. (Saturday, February 26, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• Stockyards, 1980 St Clair Ave. W. (Saturday, February 26, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• Yonge Sheppard Centre, 2 Sheppard Ave. E. (Saturday, February 26, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• Yorkgate Mall, 1 Yorkgate Blvd., upstairs by the Dollarama (Saturday, February 26, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

Shop And Vax clinics will accept walk-ins for first, second, third and paediatric doses.

TPH will also continue to focus vaccination efforts and build trust among other focused populations including people experiencing homelessness and living in shelters, Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, those with accessibility needs, pregnant individuals and newcomers.

There will also be continued efforts to bring COVID-19 vaccines to elementary and secondary school students, their families and school communities through school-based mobile clinics, with a focus on third doses for residents 12 to 17 years old. Around 55 school clinics were scheduled from February 14 to February 28.

On March 1, TPH will open a new immunization clinic at Eglinton Court, 1940 Eglinton Ave. E. This new City-run clinic will replace clinic operations at Scarborough Town Centre, which will close on Saturday, February 26.

The Eglinton Court clinic will offer first, second, third and paediatric doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for walk-ins and booked appointments Tuesday to Friday, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The new clinic is close to several neighbourhoods where COVID-19 vaccination rates are below the city-wide average, including Wexford/Maryvale, Flemingdon Park, O’Connor Parkview, Taylor-Massey, Pleasant View and Parkwoods-Donlands. COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available at Scarborough Town Centre through mobile and pop-up clinics as TPH moves into the next phase of the hyper-local, equity-focused vaccination strategy.

TPH is also adjusting the hours of operations at City-run clinics from seven to six days per week as resources are shifted to support hyper-local efforts. The new hours of operation for walk-ins and appointments are as follow:

• Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Woodbine Mall and Mitchell Field Community Centre: Tuesday to Friday, 2 to 8 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Cloverdale Mall and Scarborough Town Centre (soon-to-be Eglinton Court): Monday to Friday, 2 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I want to thank Toronto Public Health and all our Team Toronto partners for the work they are doing, literally in hundreds of mobile clinics over the coming weeks, to keep up our progress on vaccinations. It is making a difference and it will help protect people and bring this pandemic to an end,” said Mayor John Tory. “I continue to urge residents to get vaccinated and to get their third dose as soon as they are eligible. A third dose will help make sure you have the best protection possible against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. It is worth taking the time to get and that’s why we are making it as easy as possible to get your third dose at our Shop and Vax clinics this weekend.”

As of February 17, 91.1 per cent of eligible Toronto residents age 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 88.3 per cent having received two doses of the vaccine. More than 63 per cent of eligible residents have received their third dose.



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