Sixty per cent of all adults who live in Toronto are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a Toronto city councillor says.
“The City of Toronto has surpassed 60 per cent of all adults having received two doses. It’s a tremendous step, but we’re not finished yet. We have more to do,” Coun. Joe Cressy told CBC Toronto on Sunday.
“It’s a remarkable achievement, but we won’t be satisfied until all adults are fully vaccinated in the city. That means we have to keep pushing and keep going.”
Mayor John Tory and Cressy, who represents Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York and who chairs the Toronto Board of Health, visited a pop-up vaccine clinic at Kingsview Village Junior School, 1 York Rd., in Etobicoke on Sunday to encourage residents to get their first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The school is one of more than 20 clinics set up in six northwest neighbourhoods as part of the city’s “Home Stretch Vaccine Push.” The city launched the initiative on Saturday in a bid to increase vaccine uptake across neighbourhoods with low vaccination rates. Home Stretch Vaccine Push will run for a week.
Tory said the city needs to continue bringing vaccines to where residents live.
“The progress we have made in Toronto with almost 60 per cent of adults now fully vaccinated is incredible, but we still have of work to do to ensure that all residents across all areas of the city have access to vaccinations,” Tory said in a news release on Sunday.
The city says Toronto’s northwest area has some of the lowest overall vaccination rates for first and second doses, recording rates of 59 per cent for first doses and 36 per cent for second doses, respectively.
The Home Stretch Vaccine Push is focusing the city’s vaccination efforts on the following six neighbourhoods: Elms-Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village-The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston and Englemount-Lawrence.
The clinic at Kingsview Village Junior School, run by Rexdale Community Health Centre and Unity Health, aims to administer 300 shots on Sunday, Cressy said in a tweet.
In a news release on Friday, Cressy said the Home Stretch Vaccine Push is an attempt by the city to remove the barriers facing people to accessing vaccines.
“It’s about using local data to identify where barriers to vaccination exist, and getting all hands on deck to tackle them,” Cressy said.
“By setting up pop-up clinics in apartment buildings, churches, schools, and basketball courts, and getting the word out through multilingual, on-the-ground community outreach, we’re meeting people where they are — in their neighbourhoods and communities,” he added.
‘Still, there are a lot of people at risk,’ medical officer says
On Wednesday at a city hall news briefing, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, addressed the issue of low vaccination rates in some neighbourhoods of the city.
“We’re at a point in the pandemic where Toronto is in two places at once. The progress in vaccination we’ve made is making a difference. We’re healthier, we’re safer and we’re sustaining the momentum toward more and more reopening,” De Villa told reporters.
“Still, there are a lot of people at risk because they haven’t been vaccinated. To cement our progress and close the vaccination gap we need people willing to roll up their sleeves to get fully vaccinated.”
According to information provided on Saturday, 3,839,299 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Toronto as part of the overall Team Toronto initiative. The data is scheduled to be updated on Monday afternoon.
Toronto reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday at 8:30 a.m., 10 cases of which are variants of concern. The city recorded one additional death, a number that brings the cumulative death toll since the pandemic began to 3,579.