Today, Mayor John Tory and Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, announced the Team Toronto five to 11 year-olds vaccination plan readying the City for the expected approval and delivery of the vaccine for this age group later this month. For more than six weeks, Toronto Public Health and Team Toronto partners have been preparing to vaccinate this population. The plan outlined today is needs-based, data-driven, and equity-focused which will provide access to COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 200,000 eligible five to 11 year-olds living in Toronto.
Team Toronto will place every available resource into a multi-pronged clinic delivery model once the vaccine is approved and delivered by the province. This model includes large fixed-site clinics – including the five City-run immunization clinics – school-based clinics, hospital and community-based clinics, more than 450 pharmacies and a number of pediatric and family physician practices.
Through a needs-based and equity data analysis, Toronto Public Health has identified 30 neighbourhoods for the first roll-out of the school-based clinics. The analysis included COVID-19 case rate during wave four of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination rates in the 12 to 17 year-old population as a proxy for anticipated vaccine uptake in five to 11 year olds. The analysis also included the percentage of residents in each neighbourhood who fall below the low income measure, the proportion of racialized individuals, and the percentage of people living in crowded housing.
To further support the vaccination uptake, Team Toronto continues to host a number of education sessions, webinars, and town halls for parents and guardians, newcomers, physicians, community agencies and ambassadors. These educational opportunities are augmented by hospital COVID-19 vaccination telephone consultation services. Team Toronto will continue to add additional parent and caregiver town halls as well as targeted multilingual and neighbourhood-based telephone town halls in the coming weeks.
In order to increase awareness, the plan will be supported by a comprehensive advertising campaign including out of home, print, broadcast, digital and social media in multiple languages. The campaign will use refreshed, kid-friendly creative aimed at parents and caregivers of children 5 to 11 years, connecting them to more information at toronto.ca/covid19 and encouraging vaccine uptake in this cohort.
Team Toronto’s vaccination campaign is a city-wide partnership between Toronto Public Health, the City of Toronto, local school boards, Toronto hospitals, Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), local health care organizations, more than 155 Community organizations, family health teams, pediatricians, pharmacies and social service providers.
“The Team Toronto Kids COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is focused on helping kids get vaccinated so they have the best protection against COVID-19, their families can be better protected, and our schools can be better protected and stay open. Like our approach to the larger vaccination effort, this campaign is data-driven and focused on making sure all families – no matter where they live in the city – have access to the information they need to make a decision about vaccination and access to the vaccinations themselves.”
Mayor John Tory
“My team at Toronto Public Health has been working hard to prepare to vaccinate 5-11 year olds so we’re ready as soon as the vaccine is approved and delivered by the province. Our plan is needs-based, data-driven, and equity-focused, which has been the approach used to bring vaccine to residents throughout our City’s vaccination campaign. It’s essential that children aged 5 to 11 are vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect them from contracting this virus, and to provide critical protection to members of their family, those around them at school and to our entire community, and I encourage everyone to get the best protection against this virus as soon as they are eligible.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
“Our Team Toronto Kids vaccination campaign is built on the knowledge and lessons we’ve learned over the past year. By bringing vaccines directly to people, breaking down barriers, and communicating on-the-ground with residents in their own neighbourhoods, we’ve had significant success getting Torontonians vaccinated. Now, we’re committed to building trust with families and ensuring access to vaccines for kids in every area of our city.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of Toronto’s Board of Health
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.