Team Toronto is continuing to prioritize efforts to break down barriers and ensure equitable vaccine access for communities that are most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
A number of new and continuing initiatives are underway to help continue to rapidly increase third dose uptake in specific neighbourhoods that have lower vaccination rates, including:
• Hyper-local vaccination clinics: Team Toronto is bringing vaccines directly to Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) buildings. Third dose clinics began in December at 24 TCHC buildings. Another 73 buildings are already scheduled for January and February, with 36 in the next two weeks. Dedicated teams will conduct building outreach in the days leading up to the clinics, including door-knocking.
• Focused school-based clinics: With 244 clinics already held since November, Team Toronto has another 27 school-based clinics in focused neighbourhoods scheduled specifically for five to 11 year-olds, their family members, education and child care staff.
• Dedicated appointments and clinics for focused neighbourhoods: Team Toronto community and healthcare partners are allocating vaccine appointments for people who live in focused neighbourhoods with lower vaccination rates. Humber River Hospital has held education worker vaccination clinics for focused northwest neighbourhoods. University Health Network has provided appointments through community ambassadors for vulnerable communities in the downtown west, and East Toronto Health Partners have allocated appointments by priority postal code. Scarborough Ontario Health Team works closely with community ambassadors and equity-seeking groups to offer regular vaccine clinics in community settings, faith organizations and malls in high priority neighbourhoods.
• Extensive community-based outreach: The City of Toronto has invested $6 million to extend into July 2022 to fund the work of 155 community agencies and 410 community ambassadors in conducting on-the-ground outreach to help residents in targeted neighbourhoods access vaccinations.
• Special event vaccination clinics: Team Toronto will host special event vaccination clinics for focused neighbourhoods and communities. A dedicated clinic for Black, African, and Caribbean communities will be held at the Jamaican Community Association Centre on January 16. Fourteen clinics are also being held by Toronto Public Health this month for naturally occurring retirement communities.
Beginning in April 2021, Team Toronto successfully implemented the Sprint Strategy to bring vaccines to under-vaccinated, hard-hit neighbourhoods. Through the deployment of mobile clinics in accessible locations such as community centres, TCHC buildings (474 clinics to date), TTC stations, community-based outreach conducted by 155 community agencies, 410 neighbourhood ambassadors, and population specific task forces, vaccine rates in hard-hit neighbourhoods were significantly improved.
“We are working now to make sure we do everything we can to ensure vaccine access for third doses in all neighbourhoods. Getting vaccinated shouldn’t depend on your postal code or your economic status. Thank you to every member of Team Toronto for working to rapidly increase third dose uptake in neighbourhoods that are under-vaccinated and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. I continue to encourage all residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and, if they already have two doses of vaccine, to get their third dose as soon as possible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto partners are planning vaccination opportunities for communities that need additional support to access vaccines. This has been true throughout the Team Toronto vaccination effort and will continue until every resident has the benefit of the effective protection that vaccination provides.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“Our continued efforts to help tenants who live in Toronto Community Housing stay safe through providing access to vaccine clinics has been a critical part of our outreach and support. We’re thankful to our staff and our healthcare and community partners for their continued commitment to TCHC tenants and communities during these challenging times.”
– Jag Sharma, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
“From the very beginning, our priority at the City of Toronto has been to put equity front and centre in our pandemic response, and this includes our vaccination campaign. This work on the ground to increase vaccine confidence and access won’t slow down until every resident, in every part of our city can get vaccinated.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy, (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
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