As part of the City of Toronto’s “VaxTO” campaign to connect residents with COVID-19 vaccination information and resources, three more telephone town halls have been scheduled. The telephone town halls give residents the opportunity to learn more about the City’s vaccination program and ask experts questions.
Toronto’s Latin-Canadian/Hispanic/Latinx communities have experienced some of the highest reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and a large number of Portuguese and Spanish speakers live in neighbourhoods targeted by the City’s Sprint Strategy 2.0.To support these communities, the City will host telephone town halls in Portuguese and Spanish, to provide residents with an opportunity to ask questions related to the latest COVID-19 vaccination program directly to their community leaders and local vaccine engagement teams.
Taking place on Tuesday, August 24 at 6 p.m., the Portuguese town hall will be hosted by Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, City Councillor (Davenport), and will feature Dr. Eliana Castillo, Clinical Associate Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and Diana Gallego, Associate Director, FCJ Refugee Centre.
The Spanish town hall will take place on Thursday, August 26 at 6 p.m. and will be hosted by Laura Guerrero, co-founder of Latin American COVID Task Force, alongside Dr. Blanca Bolea-Almanac, Assistant Professor, Adult Psychiatry and Health Systems, University of Toronto, and Father Hernan Astudillo, San Lorenzo Church & Latin American Community Centre.
Closing the series, the city-wide English telephone hall will take place on Monday, August 30 at 6 p.m. and will feature Mayor John Tory, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, and Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management.
Residents can join the telephone town halls by calling 1-833-490-0778 or by tuning in via webstream here
The City’s VaxTO campaign, which launched this past spring, has helped connect thousands of residents with COVID-19 vaccination information and resources through a variety of targeted and multilingual outreach methods including texts, emails, telephone town halls, voice broadcasts, call centre outreach and digital advertising.
To date, six telephone town halls have been hosted and more than one million interactive voice broadcast messages have been delivered in seven different languages to phone numbers across the city to share vaccine and town hall information. More than 10,000 residents have been reached through the VaxTO call centre and more than 17,000 messages have been sent to the text line, which offers 14 language options and a postal code look-up that provides residents with a list of their nearest City-run vaccination clinics and pharmacies.
“The multilingual VaxTO campaign has successfully helped residents access vaccine information in their preferred language and encourage vaccine uptake. I invite all Toronto residents to join one of the upcoming town halls, where we will share the latest information on the City’s COVID-19 vaccination program and answer as many live questions as possible. This latest series of telephone town halls is just another way in which the City continues its efforts to inform residents and remove barriers to vaccination. I continue to encourage all residents to please get vaccinated.”
– Mayor John Tory
“We know that person-to-person connections have a significant impact on getting accurate and up-to-date information about the vaccine to those who need it. Hosting telephone town halls in different languages plays an important role in that direct approach. This is part of our commitment to reaching everyone, in every area across our city, and making sure that they have access to the information, resources, and supports they need when it comes to vaccination.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto 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.
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