De Villa says she is confident Toronto can increase vax rate amid efforts to get even more shots

Toronto’s top doctor says she’s confident the city will be able to push its COVID-19 vaccination rate even higher, as provincial officials suggest Ontario needs to reach around 90% to protect against the latest variants.

According to the latest figures, just under 80 percent of Toronto residents 18 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 65 percent are fully immunized.

While that number may seem high, Ontario’s top doctor suggested this week that the province may need to achieve a 90% vaccination rate in order to ensure community-level protection against the Delta variant, more infectious, first identified in India.

Speaking to CP24 on Thursday, Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that while vaccination rates may have slowed, the city is not yet finished.

“I’m not ready to say we’re done yet,” de Villa said. “In fact, as you mentioned, we are still seeing thousands of people come forward, not only to complete their vaccinations, but also to receive the first doses. So I remain quite optimistic and have a lot of faith in the people of Toronto, which has certainly been well deserved during the pandemic. “

While Ontario routinely administered more than 200,000 doses per day from mid-June to early July, that number declined as more people were fully immunized.

Ontario averaged 210,000 injections per day from June 15 to July 10, but that average has fallen recently. From July 11 to 20, the province averaged 148,000 hits per day.

The province said it will change its strategies as the bulk of the population gets vaccinated, moving from mass vaccination sites to more targeted approaches, including doctors’ offices.

The city has also started to shift its strategy, undertaking a hyper-local campaign of pop-up clinics and marketing to target those who still have not received a dose in parts of the city where vaccination rates are higher. weak.

Toronto is hosting a two-day pop-up clinic in North York this weekend in an effort to get more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine into arms in areas where absorption has been lower.

The clinic is part of the “Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push” and will run from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm at Mel Lastman Square on Saturday and Sunday.

According to city officials, the region is 6-10% behind the rest of Toronto for first doses.

The weekend clinic is nicknamed #VaxTheNorth and aims to deliver thousands of doses to ages 12 and up.

People can come in to take a photo or make an appointment.

The city has made nearly 3,000 calls to inform people about pop-up vaccination clinics through a special call center set up to reach parts of the city where vaccination rates are lower . City officials said Wednesday they plan to contact about 50,000 residents through phone messages broadcast in English, Korean, Farsi and Mandarin to let them know about the North York clinic.

The city also said on Wednesday that starting tomorrow, the nine mass immunization clinics in Toronto will accept walk-in visits from noon to 7 p.m. each day.

“By lowering the barrier to immunization in Toronto, the city is working to reach the roughly 20% of Toronto adults who have not started immunization and the 125,000 people who can speed up a second dose scheduled for later in the year. the year, ”the city said in its release.

GET A PHOTO BECOMING EASIER IN OTHER PARTS OF GTA TOO

Meanwhile, York Region said it is now making walk-in appointments at its vaccination clinics.

As of today, anyone who lives, works or goes to school in York Region can come in for a first or second dose at the following clinics:

  • Aaniin Community Center in the City of Markham

  • Cornell Community Center in the City of Markham

  • Georgina Ice Palace in Georgina Town

  • Maple Community Center in the City of Vaughan

  • Ray Twinney Complex in the Town of Newmarket

  • Richmond Green Center in the City of Richmond Hill

  • SoccerCity Drive Thru in the city of Whitchurch-Stouffville

  • Trisan Center in the Township of King

The region also hosted two pop-up outdoor clinics today, one at the Promenade Mall in Thornhill and another at the Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill. Both offered the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for the first and second doses.

In Peel Region, young people between the ages of 12 and 17 are allowed to skip the line today and tomorrow to be vaccinated. The Region of Peel also said it will host another ‘Pfizer Friday’ event this week featuring 7,000 Pfizer snapshots. on appointment to help immunize ages 12 and over who may be reluctant to mix vaccine types.

Ontario is expected to receive nearly five million doses of Pfizer this week through August 15, as well as more than 1.5 million doses of Moderna next week.

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