Ontario's first major COVID-19 vaccination site opens in Toronto

Jan 18 2021, 6:52 am

Ontario’s first major COVID-19 vaccination centre is opening today in Toronto.

The clinic will be located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre under the direction of the Ministry of Health, the City and Toronto Public Health.

The clinic will help test and adjust immunization setup in non-hospital settings, ensuring safety and increasing efficiency in advance of wider immunization.

Staff will evaluate all aspects of clinic operations, including technology, logistics and operating procedure. In accordance with provincial allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine, the goal of this first clinic is to vaccinate 250 people per day.

According to the City, the clinic will operate with a sample group of healthcare workers, identified in accordance with the Province’s Ethical Framework for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization. These healthcare workers are directly involved in the frontline response to COVID-19, including frontline shelter workers and harm-reduction and Streets to Homes staff who work in support of some of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents.

However, the new COVID-19 immunization clinic may be impacted by the delay in Pfizer’s vaccine shipments.

In a release, the city said those who visit the clinic to be immunized will receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine instead, due to Pfizer’s temporary shipment reduction, which could result in the vaccines being allotted elsewhere in Ontario.

“Due to the supply issues with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna vaccine may be reallocated by the province elsewhere, as required in the coming weeks,” the city said.

“Scheduling at the City’s proof-of-concept clinic beyond Week 1, therefore, may be impacted due to vaccine supply.”

On January 15, federal health officials announced that Pfizer would be temporarily reducing its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to several countries, including Canada, as it expands its European manufacturing facility.

Canada will be impacted by the delay for four weeks.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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