Tue. May 24th, 2022

The city of Toronto is once again pushing for vaccination at hotspots as they work to avert the spread of COVID-19 with inbound variants of concern.

On Thursday, a press release announced another mobile and pop-up clinic pushing 18 hotspots in for those who have not yet received their first dose and for those eligible to receive their second dose.

The clinics will start immediately and focus on the areas where COVID-19 positivity is high, vaccine coverage is low and the Delta variant has been identified, according to a press release.

Anyone living, working or attending school in the following postcodes is entitled to a first or second dose when the minimum waiting time has been reached after the first dose: M9W, M9V, M6M, M9L, M9M, M3J, M3K, M3M, M3N, M6N, M3L, M9N, M1G, M1B, M1S, M1J, M4H, M4A.

The press release warned that the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is “more infectious” than the other strains previously confirmed to spread in Toronto, “including the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), which was the main cause of Toronto’s third wave of COVID-19. ”

But vaccines are proving effective in combating the spread of the new threat.

“Recent studies have shown that two weeks after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a person’s protection against the Delta variant is 50 percent higher than one dose alone,” the press release said. The sprint strategy will continue to prioritize access to the first dose, but also serve as a low-barrier access channel to get the second dose of vaccine to these hotspots to increase the protection of residents most at risk of being infected with COVID-19. “

The city estimates that there are 157,000 people aged 18 and older who have not yet received their first dose in the targeted zip codes.

The clinics will first advertise directly to target groups through GPs, employers, faith leaders and others and will typically not be able to book online or by phone.

“With the Delta variant in circulation in the city, Team Toronto is doing everything possible to increase vaccination coverage for the first and second doses in the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID-19,” Toronto health officer Dr. Eileen de Villa quoted as said. “By protecting the most vulnerable, we are protecting Toronto as a whole.”

Across the city, well over 72 percent of Torontonians had received at least one dose of vaccines Thursday morning, as the number of cases has dropped dramatically from the peak of the third wave. About 11 percent were fully vaccinated, according to city data.

Jennifer Pagliaro is a Toronto-based journalist covering City Hall and municipal politics for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @jpags

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