The Home Stretch Vaccine Push, announced on Wednesday by Mayor John Tory, kicks off today for one week in the northwest area of the city, as part of Team Toronto’s efforts to increase vaccine uptake across neighbourhoods with low vaccination rates. This work builds on sustained efforts in northwest Toronto to provide vaccination opportunities to every resident, by a variety of teams including Humber River Hospital, Rexdale Community Health Centre, Unison Health & Community Services, Black Creek Community Health Centre, Sinai Health System, Unity Health Toronto, University Health Network, VHA Home HealthCare, Women’s College Hospital, Friendly Neighbour Hotline, and GlobalMedic.
Led by the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health and Team Toronto, alongside numerous community agencies, this hyper-local initiative will involve more than 20 micro-focused clinics taking place across six priority neighbourhoods, based on neighbourhood-level data: Elms-Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village-The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston and Englemount-Lawrence. The clinics will be conveniently located in and near buildings where residents live and will offer flexible afternoon and evening hours to accommodate frontline workers.
With these neighbourhoods in the northwest part of the city seeing some of the lowest vaccination rates for both first and second doses, the goal of the Home Stretch Vaccine Push is to connect with people on the ground, in their communities, and remove the barriers to accessing vaccines.
The Home Stretch Vaccine Push will also be supported by local community partners and extensive community ambassador-led, multilingual canvassing, as well as by the City’s VaxTO campaign, through a variety of outreach tactics including text-based messaging, emails, telephone voice broadcasts, and outreach calls from the VaxTO call centre that will target approximately 50 buildings and townhouse complexes. Team Toronto will similarly utilize this approach for other areas in the future to improve vaccine coverage.
“I’m hopeful that the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push will close a gap in access to the COVID-19 vaccine for some residents in the northwest portion of the city. Strong neighbourhood-level data has led us to create this strategy and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome, once our health and community partners come together in this push starting tomorrow. We’ve come to a critical point in our efforts to end this pandemic in Toronto and I believe that a unifying, community-based approach that builds upon our current successful vaccination efforts is what will lead us to success.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Reach everyone, in every corner of our city – that’s our goal. Our Home Stretch Vaccine Push is a team effort, with hospitals, Toronto Public Health, City staff, community agencies, and local leaders all involved. It’s about using local data to identify where barriers to vaccination exist, and getting all hands on deck to tackle them. By setting up pop-up clinics in apartment buildings, churches, schools, and basketball courts, and getting the word out through multilingual, on-the-ground community outreach, we’re meeting people where they are – in their neighbourhoods and communities.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy, (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
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