Pop-up Vaccination Returns to Newtonbrook; New Eligibility in Hot Spots; 50+ for All Starting Thursd

Since Friday’s newsletter, the Province has announced several changes in vaccine eligibility, and North York General Hospital has announced another pop-up clinic. Here’s the breakdown, starting with what is happening today, followed by information on additional eligibility starting Thursday.

1) 18+ Eligible to Book at City Mass Immunization Sites Online

Anyone born in 2003 or earlier, who lives in a hot spot, is eligible to book a vaccination appointment for their first dose at any of the City’s nine mass immunization clinics beginning today. In Willowdale, that is anyone who lives in the M2M and M2R postal codes.

To make an appointment, visit www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or call the provincial booking centre at 1-833-943-3900.

2) Newtonbrook School Pop Up Clinic Re-Opens Today – 155 Hilda Ave

In addition to now being able to book online, residents 18+ in either M2M or M2R  can also participate in the North York General Hospital’s vaccination pop up clinic at Newtonbrook Secondary School TODAY, May 3rd 2021.

To book an appointment, you must visit the clinic in person between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. (or while supplies last). Proof of address will be required. Immunizations will be scheduled for a time between today and Wednesday.

Last week’s clinic at the same location went relatively smoothly, with 3000 doses administered, but all available slots were booked up on the first day. If you attend the clinic, please ensure you’re taking measures to stay safe and adhere to all public health guidelines.

For more information, visit: https://nygh.on.ca/covid19vaccination

3) People 50+, and People Who Can’t Work From Home Eligible Thursday

As of Thursday, May 6, all people age 50 and older, in addition to individuals with high-risk health conditions and employees unable to work from home listed by the Government of Ontario under Group One, will also be able to book first dose appointments online or by phone.

Group One of employees unable to work from home are:

  1. Elementary and secondary school workers (including educators, custodial, school bus drivers, administrative staff)

  2. Workers responding to critical events (including police, fire, special constables, children’s aid society workers, emergency management, critical infrastructure restoration workers)

  3. Enforcement, inspection and compliance roles (including by-law enforcement, building inspectors, food inspectors, animal welfare inspectors, border inspection officers, labour inspectors, WSIB field workers)

  4. Individuals working in childcare (including all licensees, employees and students on educational placements who interact directly with children in licensed childcare centres and in authorized recreation and skill building programs, licensed home child care and in-home service providers, employees of home child care agencies)

  5. Foster care agency workers (including customary care providers)

  6. Food manufacturing and distribution workers

  7. Agriculture and farm workers

  8. Funeral, crematorium and cemetery workers

Individuals eligible to book starting Thursday also include those with the following conditions:

  1. Obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40)

  2. Other treatments causing immunosuppression (i.e. chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)

  3. Intellectual or developmental disabilities (i.e. Down Syndrome)

As well, individuals who were previously only able to book through the call centre – like those with the highest risk health conditions, child care workers in licensed child care settings, and education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs – will  be able to book online, in addition to by phone.

Appointments can be made through www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial booking centre at 1-833-943-3900.

A Note About Bookings and Second Doses

In recent days, I have been contacted by a large number of people asking me to speed up their second doses or to change eligibility so that they are included earlier. Please note that all decisions about eligibility, including decisions about hot spot postal codes and the timing between doses is determined by the Province of Ontario, not the City. Toronto’s main role is to operate our nine mass vaccination clinics, getting needles into arms as quickly as possible, based on the vaccine supply  the Province provides and the eligibility it sets.

The rapid opening up of eligibility by the Province is good news. I do have some concerns, however, that it may be too fast to match available appointments over the next few weeks. So I would encourage anyone who is eligible for an appointment to book one as soon as they can. If appointments are fully booked, that situation will improve with time as more vaccine arrives.

– John