Ontario hit — and then surpassed — administering seven million vaccine doses on the weekend, fuelled in part by a blitz of clinics in Toronto including one that expected to give out 10,000 shots on Sunday alone.
The vaccination site at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub, run in conjunction with Michael Garron Hospital, had given out 9,000 Pfizer shots by 8 p.m. Sunday night, and long lineups remained before its 11 p.m. closing.
“It’s been a long road and it’s going to take the collective efforts of all Torontonians to roll up their sleeves so we can get back to the lives we knew before COVID-19,” said Dr. Jeff Powis, medical director of infection and control at the hospital.
In Peel, public health hosted an around-the-clock “Doses After Dark” on Saturday and Sunday — a marathon, 32-hour clinic offering offering jabs at the International Centre in Mississauga. It got a boost Sunday when Premier Doug Ford dropped by to thank and congratulate health workers there who had given out about 4,000 doses by the afternoon.
Bramalea Civic Centre in Brampton also opened a new vaccine pop-up clinic for Black, African and Caribbean residents on Saturday.
And as the province begins to open up vaccines to younger teens — now that Pfizer has been approved for children ages 12 to 17 — Downsview Arena will host a clinic for those 16 and up who live or work in any ‘M’ hotspot postal code on Monday.
In Ontario, more than 7,064,815 doses have been given in total, with 139,583 daily doses reported as of May 15.
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Organizers of Doses After Dark, which was dubbed the first mass overnight vaccination site in Canada, said it was well attended and there was only a brief stretch between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. when the clinic wasn’t operating at full capacity.
Paul Sharma, co-lead of Peel Region’s mass vaccination program, said the overnight clinic aimed to attract a wider range of people from across a region that’s long been one of the province’s most active COVID-19 hot spots.
“This was really targeted toward essential workers who are working non-traditional hours,” he said.
The province announced last week that it aims to have all willing adults in Ontario fully immunized with two doses by Sept. 22.
With files from Canadian Press
Breanna Xavier-Carter is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: email@example.com
Ann Marie Elpa is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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