A vaccination clinic in Toronto reached a milestone Sunday evening, administering more than 10,000 doses in less than 24 hours.
The East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), who hosted the clinic at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub at East York Town Centre, said the vaccine achievement is a Canadian first.
“It was an incredible day at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub. Our philosophy has always been to get as many vaccines into arms as possible,” said Dr. Jeff Powis, the medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at Michael Garron Hospital and a member of ETHP, in a statement.
“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.”
The clinic saw long lineups of adults aged 18 years and older living and working in the city and other eligible groups who were eager to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Powis told CP24 that the clinic was set up to run as a mass immunization clinic, designed to administer up to 10,000 doses a day.
“We had the vaccine available and we wanted to get it done as quickly as we can,” he said.
“For me, there are two weeks between when the vaccine gets into somebody and they start developing protective immunity. So, there’s no point in me keeping it in the freezer if I can give it to people on a sunny day like today.”
Dr. Michael Warner, a critical care doctor with Michael Garron Hospital, was one of the health-care workers at the clinic.
“What I can say is that all the people behind me and all the people inside are not going to end up in my ICU. And that’s why I’m here today because I needed a boost. I need to see the proactive steps that we can take to protect everyone from COVID-19, especially in these communities,” Warner said.
“We need to make sure people get vaccinated. And the vaccines are easily accessible to people who are working, for people who have to take care of other members of their family. So, we need to be here every day giving vaccines.”
Milestone achieved! 10,000 vaccines in arms today (& counting!) We did it, #Toronto! Together we marked a #Canadian first – the most #COVID19Vaccines delivered within less than 24 hours in one clinic location. So proud of #TeamVaccine! Read more: https://t.co/azRSjN7YjC pic.twitter.com/7LQFtXHmrG— MGH / TEHN (@MGHToronto) May 17, 2021
Thorncliffe Park and other communities in the east end are one of the province’s hot spots, disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Warner said it is too early to see the impact of vaccine clinics as some of his patients are still from high-risk neighbourhoods.
“But my hope is that as we continue to vaccinate more and more people, fewer and fewer people from any neighbourhood will be coming to the ICU. And that’s what we really need to focus on,” he said.
According to the latest data from Toronto Public Health, over 50 per cent of adults at Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, in Peel Region, the 32-hour vaccination clinic has wrapped up. Nearly 5,000 doses were administered between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening, Peel said.
More than 7,600 vaccine appointments were made available this weekend for the ‘Doses After Dark’ clinic at The International Centre in Mississauga.
Ontario also hit a milestone in its vaccination campaign this weekend. The province has now administered more than seven million vaccine doses to date.