The City of Toronto is going ahead with plans to open a COVID-19 immunization clinic Monday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre despite recently announced delays in delivery of the Pfizer vaccine.
The clinic is for those designated by the province as next in line for the vaccine, including frontline healthcare workers in the shelter system and public health workers who will then work as COVID-19 immunizers.
The convention centre clinic is scheduled to be open for at least six weeks, seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The City says it hopes to use this mass immunization-type clinic as a model for multiple sites in community centres and mobile clinics across the city when the vaccine becomes available to the general public.
The initial goal of the clinic was to administer 250 doses per day for three weeks with the second dose scheduled for the same people three weeks later.
However, the province adjusted the guidelines for the second dose after Pfizer announced it is temporarily reducing deliveries from its European facility to all countries receiving its vaccine, including Canada. Pfizer’s production delays will reduce deliveries by an average of 50 percent over the coming weeks.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says as a result some recipients of the vaccine will now get their second shot between 21 and 42 days after the first dose. Long-term care residents along with their essential caregivers and staff who have already received the first dose will now get the second dose in 21 to 27 days.
City council and the Board of Health is also going to ask the Ford government on Monday to require employers to provide at least five paid sick days a year to workers, as well as funding for businesses so workers can have at least 10 days of sick pay annually if an infectious disease emergency is declared.