The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, Mayor John Tory, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provided an update on the Team Toronto effort to vaccinate as many people in Toronto as quickly as possible.
City-run immunization clinics are operating at capacity based on vaccine supply for the next seven days, with the first available appointment at any clinic location on April 21. A new block of appointment dates for the nine clinics is expected to open to eligible groups in the provincial booking system next week. Information on how people from the various eligibility categories can register for vaccination appointments at City-run and/or partner clinics is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.
Mayor Tory confirmed the City is continuing to advocate to the other governments for more vaccine doses for Toronto. The City wants everyone – including its hospital and healthcare partners – vaccinating as many people as possible non-stop. The City is also advocating for hospital and healthcare partners to get additional vaccine supply now and in the future from the Province of Ontario which receives its supply from the Government of Canada.
Together, the nine City-operated clinics can administer 56,322 doses of vaccine per week – limited by the availability of vaccine from the Government of Canada and Province and intentionally scaled back to protect vaccine allotment for Team Toronto vaccination partners working in their communities. Based on provincial government forecasts for vaccine availability, City-operated clinics should be able to administer up to 122,000 doses each week as vaccine availability increases.
Right now, City-operated clinics are administering the Pfizer vaccine. The amount of vaccine required for clinic operations is ordered each week by the City and delivered by the Province on a weekly basis. Each shipment contains exactly the amount of vaccine needed for the next seven days of operation at City-run clinics. Any doses of Pfizer vaccine delivered to the City that are not used as a result of missed or cancelled appointments are provided directly to Team Toronto hospital and healthcare partners to be used in their vaccination efforts. There is no stockpiling of vaccine.
Vaccines that are allocated to hospital partners are shipped directly to hospitals by the Province. Any changes or delays to these shipments are the result of issues in the Moderna supply chain, as was the case this week when no shipment was received. It is the City’s understanding that a shipment of Moderna vaccine, originally scheduled to arrive on April 19, is now expected to arrive on April 29. The Astra-Zeneca vaccine is also provided directly to pharmacy and primary care doctors by the Province. As vaccine supply increases, Team Toronto partners, like City-operated clinics, will be able to expand operations and expedite vaccination across Toronto.
Anyone receiving their vaccination at a Team Toronto clinic is encouraged to spread awareness by adding the City’s pink bandage to their online profile photos. Instructions on how to add your pink bandage and participate in the #MyCOVIDvax campaign are online at toronto.ca/pinkbandage.
COVID-19 case counts in Toronto continue to be high. Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 127,769 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 1,332 new cases today. There are 730 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 2,878 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 112,740 people have recovered. Case status data can be found on the Toronto Public Health’s reporting dashboard.
Toronto, like all Ontario municipalities, is in the Shutdown Zone of the Province’s COVID-19 response framework and subject to a provincial Stay-at-Home order. Everyone in the city should be staying home except for essential reasons such as going out for groceries or exercise and being sure to stay as close to home as possible. Please review the City’s COVID-19: Guide for Residents for information on what is and is not permitted under provincial regulations and City bylaws.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.