By Monday, 65,000 Torontonians eligible for third booster shot

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As the city of Toronto nears its goal of having 90% of the population double-vaccinated for COVID-19, Mayor John Tory has announced four “super supportive” vaccine clinics this weekend in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough for those born in 2009 or earlier.

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“(These) physically accessible locations will support those who may, for example, have a fear of needles, who need to sit down while waiting, those who need a quiet space to get vaccinated, those who need a companion while they’re getting vaccinated, or those who might need an ASL sign language interpreter,” said Tory, speaking at the afternoon city COVID-19 update on Wednesday alongside Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

So far, 84% of Toronto’s population have had two doses and 88% have one dose, according to the mayor.

He said, in total, 2.2 million people in T.O. have been vaccinated.

Tory also said the province, which announced it’ll start taking bookings for a third dose beginning Saturday (as will five city-run mass clinics with 40,000 appointments available), is providing $76 million to Toronto Public Health in its vaccination efforts towards COVID-19.

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“We need to move back to an appointment-based system because we’re expecting renewed demand at our clinics and we want people to be able to plan,” said the mayor.

This brings the funding that TPH has received from the province to $167 million.

Tory said more than 26,000 booster shots or third doses have already been given to Torontonians with more than 450 pharmacies in the city administering them, along with hospitals and doctor’s offices.

De Villa, meanwhile, says those available for a third dose, at least six months after receiving a second dose, include health care workers, essential caregivers, those aged 70 or older, or those who got two doses of AstraZeneca.

“As of Monday, Nov. 8, approximately 65,000 Torontonians will be eligible to receive a third dose of COVID vaccine,” said de Villa.

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On top of that, TPH has launched its annual flu campaign and de Villa said people can get both their flu and COVID-19 shots at the same time.

“It’s safe and effective,” for anyone who might be worried about getting two different vaccines at the same time, said de Villa

“So for those for whom time is an issue and convenience is a question then clearly getting both vaccines, assuming that they’re eligible, is a good thing,” she said.

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The doctor also said she hoped Toronto was just “weeks away” from unveiling a plan to give COVID-19 shots to those aged 5-11 pending approval from Health Canada.

“We still have a survey out there, surveying our parents to find out what they’re most interested in, what channels make sense,” said de Villa.

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