The City of Toronto will be opening up three of its mass immunization clinics on March 17 due to an increase in COVID-19 vaccine supply.
Clinics at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Scarborough Town Centre and Toronto Congress Centre will be open for residents aged 80 years and older.
They will operate seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Toronto said it has plans to open a total of nine mass immunization clinics with the other six being located at Malvern Community Recreation Centre, The Hangar, Cloverdale Mall, Mitchell Field Community Centre, North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, and Carmine Stefano Community Centre. These will open prior to or on April 1.
The news comes as Toronto, along with Peel Region and North Bay moved to the grey-lockdown level of Ontario’s colour-coded framework, from the stay-at-home order they were under since Jan. 14.
On Monday, Toronto also announced the opening of its own vaccine booking system which will operate until the provincial-wide booking system becomes operational on March 15.
The website said appointments are only available at this time to priority groups identified by the province, which includes residents aged 80 or older, some health-care workers and Indigenous adults.
Toronto health officials said a combination of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine will roll out to City-run and hospital partner clinics as follows:
- Week of March 15 – 17,500 doses
- Week of March 22 – 98,920 doses
- Week of March 29 – 174,200 doses
- Week of April 5 – 80,730 doses
- Week of April 12 – 80,730 doses
As of Monday, 200,000 Toronto residents at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We selected the three site because they represent three of the largest sites and the most readily expandable in our network of nine,” said Matthew Pegg, Toronto’s general manager of emergency management.
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are the vaccines currently approved in Canada. The first three require two shots administered several weeks apart while the fourth requires only one.
“This truly is a Team Toronto effort and we are all determined to get people vaccinated as fast as we can and as the supply of vaccine allows,” said Mayor John Tory on Monday. “After a year of combatting COVID-19, this vaccine supply news is great news.
“It means we are making important progress towards making sure everyone who wants the vaccine gets it. Every shot in every arm is a step towards putting this pandemic behind us.”
As of Monday morning, Ontario reported a total of 309,927 coronavirus cases and 7,077 total deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
—With files from The Canadian Press