Scotiabank Arena becoming COVID-19 vaccine pop-up next weekend; 10,000 doses available

TORONTO — Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena will become a COVID-19 vaccination clinic next Saturday for one day only in a bid by the city to get second doses to more people and break a Canadian record for daily doses administered in one place.

Toronto officials say the basketball and hockey arena will be a vaccination site on June 27, with hopes for 10,000 or more doses administered.

“Clinic partners, led by University Health Network and Michael Garron Hospital, are planning to vaccinate more than 10,000 people on Sunday, in order to break the Canadian single day clinic record,” officials said in a statement issued on Monday.

As of Monday morning, anyone in Ontario who received a COVID-19 vaccine first dose on May 9 or earlier is eligible for an accelerated second dose.

As of Wednesday morning, anyone in 10 public health regions of Ontario including Toronto that received a first COVID-19 vaccine dose on May 30 or earlier is eligible to receive a second dose.

Eligible people can book appointments at the Arena here.

“We’re really putting a big push on with the second doses, because that’s going to be the key to safely reopening the city, making sure that as many people as possible have their second dose,” Mayor John Tory told CP24 on Monday.

Scotiabank Arena is largely idle at the moment, as the Toronto Raptors played games from Florida and did not make the postseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated in round one of the NHL playoffs and concerts of any size indoors are not yet permitted in Ontario.

Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has required convention centres, parking lots, places of worship, arenas, community centres and even a strip club be used to administer vaccines.

Earlier in the pandemic, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment offered the venue’s sizeable catering capability to hospitals in order to feed healthcare workers.

Those attending will receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine if they are adults, with Pfizer reserved for youth ages 12-17.

“If you need a first dose or a second dose, please book your appointment for this record-breaking clinic,” Tory said Monday. “Taking part in Toronto Vaccine Day is a win-win. You’ll be a part of history and you’ll be protecting yourself, your family and our city’s progress in fighting COVID-19.”

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