Toronto officials say vaccinations in hot spots key to curbing COVID-19 as city sees 1,229 new cases

Toronto officials say vaccination in hot-spot locations is key to flattening the curve as the city reported 1,229 new cases and six new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday. 

In the city’s pandemic news briefing, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa told reporters it’s essential these high-risk neighbourhoods remain a priority for immunization.

De Villa said the city has been working to expand mobile vaccination clinics to the neighbourhoods that need it most. 

“If we limit the spread there, we limit the spread everywhere,” she said.

This weekend, the city brought together a group of community ambassadors, volunteers and clinical teams from across the city, to form a pop-up clinic on the basketball courts at 15 Tobermory Drive where they were able to vaccinate 1,352 residents.

According to de Villa, the city has also seen 65 new hospitalizations,with a total of 881 people in hospital right now and 144 who are currently in ICUs. 

Mayor John Tory told reporters he is happy with the progress the city has made so far with vaccinations and he described the vaccines as “the most powerful weapon” in defeating the novel coronavirus. 

He also noted that continued supply is essential in the city’s success. 

“If we get the supply, you just watch us go,” the mayor said. 

Despite vaccinations slowing over the weekend, Toronto has now administered 907,070 vaccines to date, making it the first local health region in Canada to deliver over 900,000 doses. 

The city continues to work closely with health-care partners, pharmacies and Toronto Public Health in its vaccination efforts, it said in a news release. 

Currently, people born in 1961 or earlier and those aged 50 or older who live in hot-spot neighbourhoods are able to book vaccination appointments online or by phone in city-run COVID-19 immunization clinics.

Starting Tuesday, anyone over 40 will be eligible to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at local pharmacies taking part in the immunization campaign.

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