Toronto launching vaccination program for paramedics at three sites on Thursday

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Toronto began vaccinating its paramedics against COVID-19 on Wednesday, with a full program scheduled to begin on Thursday.

Mayor John Tory said a small group of paramedics were vaccinated and trained in how to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They were to begin vaccinating colleagues on Thursday.

Getting Toronto's full complement of paramedics vaccinated is a critical step in the city's COVID-19 response plan, Tory said.

"The 1,300 paramedics in our city, who have done such a fantastic job during the pandemic and of course every other day as well, are an extension of our emergency departments and play a vital role in our response to the pandemic," Tory said.

"Getting them vaccinated will not only protect all residents but also other front-line workers."

The city said paramedics who want vaccinations can receive doses at one of three sites across Toronto. Each site will be able to inoculate up to 50 paramedics per day.

The program is in partnership with Sunnybrook hospital, Humber River hospital, and the University Health Network.

Tory also said that the city was working with the provincial government to ensure residents and staff at all 87 long-term care homes in Toronto — both profit and non-profit — will be vaccinated by Jan. 21.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press