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Toronto’s UHN encouraging staff to register for COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Click to play video: 'Toronto’s city-run COVID-19 clinics have capacity to provide almost 1 million doses per month, mayor says'
Toronto’s city-run COVID-19 clinics have capacity to provide almost 1 million doses per month, mayor says
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto's city-run COVID-19 clinics have capacity to provide almost 1 million doses per month, mayor says. – Mar 17, 2021

TORONTO — The University Health Network in downtown Toronto is urging about 3,000 staff to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

In a memo, network president Dr. Kevin Smith encouraged those who haven’t registered to do so.

A spokeswoman said about one thousand staff members signed up for an appointment after the memo.

A spokeswoman said 85 per cent of those working in the hospitals have been inoculated.

About 1,500 staff work from home full time and are not included in the vaccination totals.

A spokeswoman said UHN wants to provide vaccine to staff working from home but the priority is those entering the hospitals.

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UHN also said it’s opening a hotline for staff to answer questions about vaccines.

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The health network said it’s also mounting an internal campaign with vaccine ambassadors and peer-to-peer advocacy.

Meanwhile, Ontario family physicians are asking the province how they can help combat vaccine hesitancy and get more shots in arms.

“Who better than their family doctor, who we have a trusted relationship with them, we are face they know, we know their health history,” dr. Leslie Byers told Global News.

Byers said she’s applied to be a pilot testing site, testing out how family doctors can offer the AstraZeneca shot, which is currently being offered to those aged 60 and older at participating pharmacies.

“I see the limitations of the vaccine,” Byers said. “I see all the different things we need to do, family doctors can do this though, we can absolutely be giving vaccine.”

Click to play video: 'Toronto expanding mass vaccination effort while experiencing some setbacks'
Toronto expanding mass vaccination effort while experiencing some setbacks

Premier Doug Ford said previously that once the province gets more vaccine doses, it will aim to have shots being administered by family doctors.

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Dr. Liz Muggah, President Ontario College of Family Physician told Global News they have been told as much by the Ford government.

“They have given us indication that they are interested in us playing a role especially in Phase 2,” she said. “I think we need to know that we can get going on this and in what way and how much of the vaccine they anticipate we are going to get.”

With files from Katherine Ward

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