The city will hold a one-day mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in northwest Toronto later this month in the hopes of increasing vaccine rates in some neighbourhoods.
Mayor John Tory said at a city hall briefing on Wednesday that the "Vax the Northwest" event is set for on Sunday, Jan. 23 in York University's Aviva Centre, the home of Tennis Canada. The clinic will take place in the stadium's centre of excellence from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"This is Team Toronto in action," Tory told reporters.
"Team Toronto is working tirelessly to raise vaccination rates across the entire northwest of the city to help blunt the spread of COVID-19 and the very transmissible Omicron variant."
Tory said the clinic will be able to vaccine at least 1,000 people of all age groups and it will make available first, second and third doses as well as children's doses. He said the event will aim to make vaccination "easy and fun."
In Toronto as a whole, 87 per cent of people aged 12 and older have received two doses of a COVID-19, but the mayor said the rate is lower in some northwest neighbourhoods.
While York University Heights, for example, is keeping pace with the city, Black Creek is three per cent below, Glenfield Jane Heights is seven per cent below and Westminster Branson is 12 per cent below the city average for people aged 12 and over who have received two doses.
Information on the clinic will be available in several languages to promote the event, remove barriers to vaccination and encourage people to get immunized, Tory said. These languages include Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Russian.
In a news release on Wednesday, the city added: "Team Toronto is also reaching out to Black, newcomer and undocumented populations in neighbourhoods close to York University through community agencies and established COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams and ambassadors."
More information on how to book appointments online or by phone will be available in the coming days.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, told reporters the city has worked to bring vaccines to "focused neighbourhoods" and the "Vax the Northwest" event is another example of that effort.
"Collectively, we will continue to augment our mobile vaccination teams to continue to bring doses directly to communities — particularly those who require focused efforts and outreach to increase vaccine uptake," she added.
"Vaccination is one of the key actions parents and caregivers can take to protect their children as they head back to the classroom. And we know that vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the best measures of protection for our community overall."
According to the city, the clinic is being organized with the help of Humber River Hospital, University Health Network (UHN), Black Creek Community Health Centre, Unison Community Health Centre, Tennis Canada and York University.
Toronto reported 1,649 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 1,675 more on Wednesday.
The city has shut down most of its indoor services due to provincial orders, although it has vowed to keep emergency services running even as the spread of COVID-19 drives a surge of sick calls.