• Councillor Mark Grimes

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

There is a lot of information on the COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and it is constantly changing. I know it is hard to try and sift through everything to try and find some clear answers. I hear your questions, concerns, and your frustration, and I want you to know that I'm frustrated too. I am committed to getting you the information I know, and what you will read below is all of the information that I have right now. I will share more as it becomes available. In the meantime, please visit the City's website frequently for updates.

Why Is Toronto Behind other Municipalities on Vaccine Administration?

  • The issue right now is limited vaccine supply. Once we have the necessary doses, we're ready to go.

  • Toronto has approx. 325,000 residents who are eligible under the Province's Phase 1 prioritization plan. As of early March, Toronto had only received 195,370 vaccine doses, the majority of which were directly supplied to hospitals.

  • The Federal Government approves, and secures vaccines for use in Canada, and distributes them to the provinces.

  • The Province of Ontario sets out prioritization for which groups will be vaccinated, and when.

  • The City's role is to assist in the vaccination efforts of those identified in those groups, with the limited supply of doses provided from the Province.

  • As the largest city in Canada, Toronto’s immunization plan includes many delivery sites: over 350 clinics are planned, including in hospitals, Community Health Centres, pharmacies, and mobile pop-up clinics. Additionally, the City will operate nine City-run clinics to administer vaccines, once supply is available.

Why are some Toronto Hospitals Accepting Vaccine Bookings?

  • This registration system is operated by the hospital itself. When Toronto adopts the Provincial registration system scheduled to launch on March 15, the hospitals will integrate their own systems within the larger framework.

  • Toronto is the only city in Ontario where the Province distributes the vaccine directly to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and family doctors.

  • Even though doses are distributed to these providers, they still must adhere to the prioritization plan set out by the province.

  • If you have questions about a hospital’s registration system, and who they are vaccinating right now, please reach out to the hospital or your family physician directly, as the City does not have direct jurisdiction over their operation. This is all the information I have right now, but I will provide more information as I receive it.

When Can You Get Your Shot?

  • Eligibility is determined by the Province's prioritization plan. You can get vaccinated in either Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3, depending on your circumstances.

  • A Provincial registration and scheduling system will be live on March 15 to begin booking vaccination appointments for those over the age of 80, and a dedicated call centre will be established by the Province to serve people unable to use the system – stay tuned for more updates on this.

  • Today, the Province released further details on who will be eligible under Phase 2 of the prioritization plan.

What Groups Are Being Vaccinated Right Now?

  • Long term-care home residents, staff and essential caregivers

  • Congregate care settings for seniors including retirement home residents, staff and essential caregivers

  • Frontline health care workers in the very high and highest risk priority groups

  • Adults who are receiving ongoing home care

  • Indigenous populations

  • People experiencing homelessness in shelters at high risk of outbreaks (on a rolling basis, to be identified by Toronto Public Health and based on supply and other prioritization criteria

Groups who will be eligible to get vaccinated through the rest of March

  • Seniors aged 80 or older; starting with those living in highest risk communities

  • Patients aged 80 and older who attend hospitals for treatments such as dialysis or chemotherapy

  • Residents and staff in additional congregate care settings for seniors, including all other retirement homes and assisted living

  • Adults receiving ongoing home care

  • Health care workers who are identified as very high priority including nurse practitioners, midwives, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, physicians, dentists and dental care providers and their staff who provide direct patient care

What's Next?

  • Stay tuned for information on the Province's online booking portal going live on March 15.

  • Today, the Province released more details on Phase 2 prioritization.

  • Information on who is eligible in Phase 2 is available here.

  • Phase 2 vaccinations are anticipated to take place between April 2021 – July 2021.

Where Can I find more information?

If you have further questions about the Province's distribution or prioritization plan, please visit here or contact your local elected Member of Provincial Parliament Christine Hogarth at christine.hogarth@pc.ola.org

If you have further questions about the procurement or approvals by Health Canada, please visit here or contact your local elected Member of Parliament James Maloney at James.Maloney@parl.gc.ca