As part of Team Toronto’s ongoing efforts to help to remove barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, a one-week, hyper-local vaccination initiative, will be launched in the north-west part of the city starting on July 10. The Home Stretch Vaccine Push, led by the City, UHN, Michael Garron Hospital and Team Toronto, in addition to other community agencies, will kick off on Saturday to encourage vaccine uptake across neighbourhoods in the north-west area of the city where vaccination rates are the lowest.
Using neighbourhood-level data, more than a dozen micro-focused clinics are being planned to take place across six priority neighbourhoods starting this weekend: Elms – Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village – The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston and Englemount-Lawrence.
In an effort to break down all remaining barriers to access, the clinics, which will be predominantly administering the Pfizer vaccine for both first and second doses, will be located in and near buildings where residents live and offer flexible afternoon and evening hours to accommodate frontline workers.
Extensive multilingual community-based canvassing by community ambassadors will be incorporated through a variety of Team Toronto community agency partners. Other outreach tactics will also be implemented through the City’s VaxTO campaign, including text-based messaging, emails, telephone voice broadcasts, and outreach calls from the VaxTO call centre, in order to increase access to vaccination clinics as well as vaccination rates.
Community partners in the Home Stretch Vaccine Push include: Rexdale Community Health Centre, Unison Health and Community Services, Rexdale Community Hub partners (Rexdale Women’s Centre, Rexdale Youth Mentorship, Delta Family Resource, Albion Neighbourhoods Services), as well as the North West Cluster (50+ community agencies), Somali Canadian Association, The Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario, Braeburn Neighbourhood Place and Somali Women and Children.
“With over 50% of adults now fully vaccinated in the City, we need to keep the momentum going, which means focusing our efforts on areas with the lowest vaccination rates. In partnership with Team Toronto, the Home Stretch Vaccine Push aims to remove all remaining barriers to vaccination starting with residents living in the north-west area of the city. The aim is to ensure that all Torontonians who want a vaccine are able to receive one in the most convenient way and at the most convenient location possible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Break down every barrier and build every bridge to vaccination. That’s always been our commitment. Our Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push is an all-hands-on-deck effort to reach everyone, and support vaccination in neighbourhoods that currently have low coverage. By connecting with people on-the-ground in their communities and bringing vaccines to their buildings, we can make that final push to get our city vaccinated.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy, (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
“We have learned so much in the past months from our community partners. It is critical that the approach to vaccination relies on the strength and knowledge in the community and that we take vaccination into the places where the community gathers. Team Vaccine is working hard to ensure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated has that opportunity and that we are there to answer questions and support people who have yet to decide about whether they will take the shot.”
– Lori Seeton, Director, Mobile Vaccination Strategy and Delivery, University Health Network
“The Home Stretch Vaccine Push takes Team Toronto’s targeted vaccination strategy a step further by bringing the COVID-19 vaccine directly to residents in neighbourhoods and communities where there are lower vaccination rates. With a focus on convenience, familiar locations and flexible hours will ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine has access to one. These efforts will be enhanced by the established trust between participating community organizations and local residents, an instrumental component of promoting vaccine confidence and spreading word about the clinics.”
– Phillip Anthony, Co-Chair Vaccine Equity Strategy
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