Toronto hits another major COVID-19 vaccine milestone

A nurse gives the first COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, to Sahra Kaahiye in Edmonton on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Mayor John Tory visited a vaccination clinic at the Cloverdale Mall on Thursday morning as he continued his push to get residents in some areas of the city with lower vaccination rates to roll up their sleeves.

More than 77 per cent of Toronto adults have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 45 per cent are fully immunized.

But there are still pockets of the city that are lagging behind, including a number of neighbourhoods in the city’s northwest corner.

The Cloverdale Mall clinic is located a short distance away from the Etobicoke West Mall neighbourhood, which has among the lowest vaccination rates in the city with just 62.6 per cent of adults having received at least one dose. Less than 29 per cent of adults in the neighbourhood are fully vaccinated.

“People want to see things reopened faster and so do I. I don't think there's a single soul who doesn’t. We want the indoor dining, we want the gyms open, we want the children's sports and other things to get back to normal but we have to do that within a context that says that it is safe to do so and where we have no risk of going back to the days when all these things are closed again because nobody's going to thank us for that,” Tory told reporters after personally thanking the staff at the clinic.

“So please take a moment today on Canada Day to celebrate the blessings that we have living in this country, to reflect on some places where we have fallen way short and where we've lost our way and need to do better by our Indigenous people but also please take a moment to think about whether you have done everything you can to get yourself vaccinated to help put COVID behind us or to help someone else get vaccinated.”

Tory says that more than 69,000 appointments have already been booked at the city’s nine immunization clinics over the Canada Day long weekend.

However, he said that a small number of appointments remain available at many of the sites.

“Please get vaccinated and if you've done it terrific and you can instead put your energy to work convincing a friend or a relative, giving them a ride to the clinic, helping them make an appointment online if they might find it difficult,” Tory said.