The Team Toronto determination to get vaccines to those that need them most is moving into a new phase of the mobile vaccination sprint strategy. Beginning today, the Toronto sprint strategy mobile and pop-up clinics are refocusing efforts to provide access to first and second vaccine doses in neighbourhoods with high incidence of COVID-19, low vaccine coverage and where the Delta variant has been identified.
Based on Toronto Public Health data, the Team Toronto Sprint Strategy 2.0 will begin by concentrating on 18 hot spot postal codes to increase dose one vaccine uptake, and to provide the additional effectiveness of a second dose against the emerging Delta variant. All adults in the following 18 neighbourhoods who have not yet received a first dose of vaccine will be encouraged to receive one. In addition, all individuals who live, work or attend school in one of the following neighbourhoods and have received a first dose of vaccine, will be able to receive a second dose at the appropriate minimum interval following federal and provincial frameworks.
The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is more infectious than other strains of COVID-19 including the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) which was the main cause of Toronto’s third wave of COVID-19. Recent studies have shown that two weeks after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, an individual’s protection against the Delta variant is 50 per cent higher than one dose alone. The sprint strategy will continue prioritizing access to first dose, but also serve as a low barrier access channel for getting second dose vaccine to these hot spots to increase the protection of residents most at risk of contracting COVID-19.
These areas have high neighbourhood-level case rates – COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalization rates per 100,000 surpassing the average across Toronto – and low vaccine coverage rates. Toronto Public Health estimates there are 157,000 unvaccinated people age 18 and older in these 18 new postal code areas.
Hospital and community partners intentionally promote community clinics only to the specific neighbourhoods that the clinic is meant to serve. Clinics are brought to the attention of eligible local residents directly through primary care physicians like family doctors, employers, building managers, faith leaders and other local leaders, who are directly connected with the people the community clinics will serve. It is usually not possible to book an appointment online or by phone for a pop-up or mobile clinic. Team Toronto partners will be using a variety methods to manage lines efficiently, effectively and to prioritize vaccine recipients. Residents are encouraged to bring water and dress for the weather.
“We are continuing to follow the public health data and expert advice to make sure we are doing everything we can to get vaccine doses to where it will make the biggest difference in our fight against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. We launched the Sprint Strategy to focus on our hottest hot spots and it made a tremendous difference that has allowed us to move forward with reopening. The Team Toronto Sprint Strategy 2.0 will continue that success and make sure we continue to get first and now second doses to people in the areas that will benefit from increased vaccine protection the most and help us bring this pandemic to an end.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Vaccinate the most vulnerable, as quickly as possible. With the Delta variant taking hold, the Team Toronto Sprint Strategy 2.0 is a necessary intervention to protect Torontonians and beat this pandemic. Our Sprint Strategy 2.0 will bring mobile and pop-up 1st and 2nd dose clinics directly to neighbourhoods and populations hardest hit by the DELTA variant. It’s a data-driven approach to protect the most vulnerable, immediately”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair Toronto Board of Health
“With the Delta variant circulating in the city, Team Toronto is making every effort to increase first and second dose vaccination coverage in the neighbourhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. By protecting the most vulnerable, we protect Toronto as a whole. By decreasing barriers and bringing vaccines to the people most at risk, we protect the lives and communities disproportionately affecting by this pandemic.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“Building on the momentum and collective impact of the initial Mobile Sprint Strategy, we are excited to continue our community led partnership in collaboration with our Toronto hospital and primary care partners to bring both first and second doses of vaccines to communities that are at most risk. Using an equity lens and integrated care delivery approach, we will move with speed to protect our communities against this new variant.”
– Shiran Isaacksz, Vice-President, Connected Care & Altum Health and Co-Lead, Team Toronto Mobile Sprint Strategy
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.