The City of Toronto will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to those experiencing homelessness in its shelter system starting next week.
On February 28, the city announced that hospital and community health partners would begin the immunization effort at shelters where the risk of contracting COVID-19 has been deemed highest.
The city noted that over the weekend, provincial officials designated those experiencing homelessness as a priority group within Phase One of its vaccine rollout.
“People experiencing homelessness are at elevated risk of serious health impacts due to COVID-19 and are vulnerable to transmission in congregate settings,” Councillor Joe Cressy, the Chair of the Toronto Board of Health, said.
“By updating their vaccination prioritization plan, the Province has made it possible for the City and our hospital and health care partners to help keep those most at risk in our communities safe.”
Given the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Toronto’s current immunization efforts are focused on protecting those who are most at risk of contracting the virus.
Once more doses are available, those over the age of 80 and “very high priority” health care workers will be next in line to receive a vaccine.
“We are doing everything we can to support the provincial and federal government in the vaccine rollout,” Mayor John Tory said. “We are working to vaccinate those at highest risk in our city as quickly as possible.”
“This work will ramp up in the coming weeks as we receive more vaccine from the Government of Canada, and it won’t stop until every Toronto resident who wants a vaccine has been vaccinated.”