Scarborough clinic celebrates daily dose count milestone as renewed push targets northwest corner

Hundreds of Scarborough residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 Saturday, July 10, 2021 at the Centennial College immunization clinic. (CTV News/Natalie Johnson)

The Scarborough Vaccine Team staff at the Centennial College immunization clinic marked a milestone Saturday, celebrating the highest average of daily doses administered by a community vaccine clinic.

The Progress Ave. site has administered an average of 1,497 COVID-19 vaccine doses a day since March 17, contributing to significant levels of protection in a region that was hard-hit by the virus.

In April, 16 of 17 Scarborough postal codes were deemed COVID-19 hotspots; now, more than 70 per cent of adults in every Scarborough postal code have received at least their first dose of vaccine.

“COVID-19 had a great impact on our residents in Scarborough, so we made a commitment that once the vaccination came about, we knew we had to vaccinate our population,” Scarborough Health Network’s Chief Nursing Executive Glynn Boatswain told CTV Toronto Saturday.

But other parts of the city are lagging behind. The northwest corner of Toronto remains significantly less vaccinated than the rest of the city—leading officials to launch the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push campaign.

The initiative, focused largely on the northwest area of the city, involves hyper-local immunization clinics in the priority neighbourhoods of Elms-Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village-The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston, and Englemount-Lawrence.

The clinics are designed to offer flexible hours to accommodate frontline workers to reduce any potential access barriers.

Michael Tam visited a clinic set up at a Stong Court school Saturday to get his first dose, saying previous locations had not been easily accessible for him.

“I think it’s speeding up now, definitely right, they’re opening up all these pop-up vaccine locations,” he said.

“I’m very relieved now,” echoed Layla Li after getting her dose there. “I feel the protection.”