Peel Region is ramping up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts with a 32-hour "Doses After Dark" marathon clinic in Mississauga this weekend.
The region says it plans to administer more than 7,600 doses, including 5,000 doses overnight. The clinic, which started at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, runs until 8:30 p.m. on Sunday at the International Centre.
"We're vaccinating for 32 hours straight...We're the first health unit across Canada to do an overnight event," said Paul Sharma, co-lead of Peel Region's Mass Vaccination Program.
Sharma says the idea behind the overnight clinic is to offer vaccinations to people who work in sectors with precarious or unconventional work hours, citing demand from Peel residents. The region, home to many essential workers, has been hard hit by the pandemic.
"The manufacturing [sectors], the shift workers, the trucking industry and the taxi industry...This gives people an opportunity [to get a vaccine]."
He said fun surprises, special guests and giveaways are in store for people attending the clinic to ensure an enjoyable experience.
"With people who are a little bit anxious or unsure, by having some positive energy, it does give some hope and actually allows us get to our 75 per cent of residents being vaccinated so we can get out of this and have some type of decent summer."
Peel Region residents were able to book appointments starting on Tuesday, May 11. Anyone over 18 is eligible to receive a shot.
"This will be the most vaccines administered at a single clinic since the start of our campaign," Peel Region said in a news release this week.
Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel's medical officer of health, urged residents to book overnight spots.
"Let's do everything we can, together, to keep the momentum going in Peel and reach our goal of 75 per cent first dose coverage in our community even sooner than previously anticipated," Loh said in the release.
Peel Region said it would have a 32-hour shot clock running at the clinic to keep track of vaccines administered.
As of May 7, a total of 638,602 vaccine doses have been administered in Peel. The region said it hopes to administer an additional 150,000 doses by next week.
Peel has administered first doses to 612,128 people and second doses to 26,474 people. As of May 6, 44 per cent of adults aged 18 and older who live in Peel have received at least one vaccine dose.
As of 8 p.m. on Friday, 6,925,232 vaccine doses have been administered across Ontario.