Building on the success of last week’s Home Stretch Vaccine Push where close to 12,000 vaccinations were administered at 41 pop-up clinics in six priority neighbourhoods, thousands more doses are expected to be given out this weekend in North York through the #VaxTheNorth clinic in Mel Lastman Square.
The 11,667 vaccinations administered during the one-week Push in Toronto’s north and west represent a 35 per cent increase from the vaccinations administered across the same six postal code areas during the week prior. Moreover, 17 per cent of those vaccinations represent first doses with some clinics administering over 30 per cent first doses.
The hyper-local initiative, created to help increase vaccine uptake in areas experiencing low vaccination rates, kicked off on July 10 in six priority neighbourhoods: Elms-Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village-The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston and Englemount-Lawrence. The goal was to connect with residents on the ground, in their communities, and remove any barriers to accessing vaccines. Clinics were conveniently situated in and near buildings where residents live and offered flexible afternoon and evening hours to accommodate frontline workers.
The Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push is moving to North York where #VaxTheNorth, a weekend-long pop-up clinic, will take place in Mel Lastman Square this Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Led by the City of Toronto and North York General Hospital, together with Team Toronto hospital partners including Women’s College Hospital, North York Toronto Health Partners, other community partners and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the two day pop-up clinic will help bolster vaccine uptake in the area, which is lagging behind city-wide uptake in terms of first and second dose vaccination rates by six to 10 per cent and four to more than nine per cent, respectively.
With the aim of vaccinating thousands of local residents, #VaxTheNorth will welcome Toronto residents age 12 and over on a walk-in basis for both first and second doses. Vaccination appointments can also be booked in advance through the North York Toronto Health Partners booking website.
The Home Stretch Vaccine Push works with Vaccine Engagement Teams and local community partners and includes extensive community ambassador-led multilingual canvassing. It complements the City’s multi-faceted VaxTO campaign to connect residents with COVID-19 vaccination appointments and information through a variety of outreach tactics including text-based messaging, emails, multilingual telephone voice broadcasts, and outreach calls from the VaxTO call centre.
Since July 8, over 2,800 calls were made through the VaxTO call centre to residents in buildings across targeted postal code areas to inform them about the pop-up clinics. This week, the VaxTO campaign will be reaching out to close to 50,000 residents about the #VaxTheNorth clinic through targeted telephone voice broadcast messages in languages including English, Korean, Farsi and Mandarin.
As Toronto approaches the 80 per cent mark for fully vaccinated adults, the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push will continue its efforts to remove barriers and increase vaccine access across the city, targeting neighbourhoods with low vaccination rates.
“The results to date from the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push have been very encouraging. With a 35 per cent increase in vaccination doses in priority neighbourhoods, it is clear that this targeted approach is working and having a real impact. We are closing the gap in vaccine access for residents in north and west areas of the city and are looking forward to taking this hyper-local strategy to other parts of the city where vaccination rates remain low, including North York this weekend with the #VaxTheNorth clinic. I am confident that through this type of community partnership-based, micro-level approach we will get to the other side of this pandemic.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Our Home Stretch Vaccine Push is working – we’re building trust and increasing first and second doses in neighbourhoods with low vaccination rates. We’re committed to working with our Team Toronto partners and community organizations on the ground to keep scaling up, bringing the Home Stretch model to more communities. This is all part of our commitment to ensuring that everyone, everywhere in our city, can easily get fully vaccinated.”
– 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.