Toronto officials urge people to get COVID-19 vaccines as more able to move up 2nd doses

City of Toronto officials are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and take whatever shot is available to them when their turn comes as Ontario continues its reopening process.

Mayor John Tory joined Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Matthew Pegg, Toronto fire chief and general manager of the Office of Emergency Management, to provide an update on COVID-19 in the city at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Tory said that more than 2.18 million people in Toronto now have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 820,000 are fully vaccinated.

“This is great progress,” Tory said.

The mayor also said the city is hoping to have 25,000 doses available this Sunday at a vaccine clinic at Scotiabank arena.

As part of the city’s vaccine day initiative, the TTC is offering free rides to and from the arena and any other vaccination clinic in Toronto, Tory said. People just have to show proof of booking on their initial trip, and confirmation of their shot as a return ticket.

This will also apply to anyone working or volunteering at a vaccine clinic this Sunday, Tory said.

GO Transit will also offer free travel to Union Station for the clinic, Tory added.

Pegg said that there were 16,592 doses of vaccine administered Tuesday in Toronto, which is the most-ever on a single day.

“This is an extraordinary achievement,” he said, adding that vaccination clinic appointments are almost fully booked this week, and 92 per cent booked for next week.

As the city’s vaccine supply is now predominantly Moderna, the bulk of appointments will use that vaccine, with Pfizer being held for youth aged 10 to 17.

De Villa said that the best course of action right now is for people to get both doses of vaccine, and to take whatever vaccine is available.

“[They have] different names, different manufacturers, but built on the exact same foundation,” de Villa said.

While case counts have dropped significantly in Toronto in recent weeks, de Villa said she expects case counts to rise as the province continues to reopen.

“If you don’t want to be one of them, please get vaccinated,” she said.

The city’s update comes as Ontario reported 255 additional cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and a new single-day high for vaccinations.

Starting this morning, Ontarians living in 10 designated hot spots for the delta COVID-19 variant are eligible to book earlier second vaccine doses.

Health units covering Toronto, Peel, Halton, Durham, York are among the hot spots for the more infectious virus variant.

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