To help Toronto Public Health (TPH) kick off its annual vaccination campaign to combat COVID-19 and influenza (flu), Mayor Olivia Chow, Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre), Chair of the Board of Health and Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health rolled up their sleeves on Thursday to get their updated vaccines in anticipation of increased respiratory illnesses this fall and winter.
Only one appointment is needed to get both COVID-19 and flu vaccines at a TPH fixed-site vaccination clinic.
Four TPH fixed-site vaccination clinics have spaces available across Toronto for the public to access COVID-19 and flu vaccines:
• Metro Hall: 214 Wellington St. W.
• Cloverdale Mall: 250 the East Mall
• North York Civic Centre: 5100 Yonge St.
• Scarborough: 410 Progress Ave., Unit D3
From October 11 to November 1, TPH has delivered 26,843 COVID-19 and flu vaccines at its four clinics.
More information on the fixed-site vaccination clinics is available on the City of Toronto’s website: www.toronto.ca/community-peopl
On Friday, an additional 8,000 COVID-19 and flu vaccine appointments will open for booking. Toronto residents can use the Provincial Booking System – available at www.ontario.ca/book-vaccine – to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Healthcare providers will also offer the flu vaccine at the same time.
Flu only vaccination appointments can be booked by visiting the Toronto Public Health Appointment Booking System webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-peopl
TPH mobile clinics will continue to offer COVID-19 and flu vaccines to clients of emergency shelters, retirement communities and newcomer agencies. COVID-19 and flu vaccines will also be available at participating pharmacies and through some primary care providers.
The flu, caused by influenza A and B viruses, easily spreads and affects the nose, throat and lungs. In Canada, it infects five to 10 per cent of adults and 20 to 30 per cent of children each year during late fall and winter. COVID-19, a global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, can result in severe illness in older adults and those with weakened immune systems. Vaccination and infection prevention measures help reduce the risk of both diseases and serious illness.
TPH encourages all Torontonians to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as possible. Both vaccines are free for people six months of age and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. An OHIP card is not required at TPH clinics but may be requested by other providers.
Follow these guidelines to protect against respiratory illness in Toronto this season:
• Get vaccinated
• Choose well-ventilated spaces
• Wear a tight-fitting mask in crowded indoor settings
• Stay home when feeling unwell
• Test for COVID-19 if symptoms appear and get treated if eligible
• Maintain regular hand hygiene and cover your cough
TPH offers free rapid antigen tests at more than 130 Toronto Public Library branches and other civic spaces across the city. Eligible people with a positive COVID-19 test can access treatment which is most effective within five to seven days of the start of symptoms. More information is available on the City’s COVID-19 Testing webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-peopl
The public can stay updated on virus activity through TPH’s new respiratory virus surveillance dashboard, offering weekly flu and COVID-19 updates, as well as institutional and public hospital respiratory outbreak information. More information about respiratory viruses and the Integrated Respiratory Diseases Dashboard is available on the City’s website: www.toronto.ca/community-peopl
“As we transition into the autumn and winter seasons, let’s embrace the opportunity to show care for both ourselves and those around us by promptly getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“Today, I received my flu and updated COVID-19 monovalent vaccines. I encourage all Torontonians to visit the Toronto Public Health booking site and get your flu and updated COVID-19 shots that are available at City-run, fixed-sites. As colder temperatures arrive and we spend more time indoors, please follow the advice of our public health professionals and get the necessary protections offered by vaccines.”
– Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre), Chair of the Board of Health
“Toronto Public Health has been working diligently in the lead-up to what we expect will be an active respiratory virus season. There are simple steps that Torontonians can take to greatly reduce their risk of severe illness. Vaccination is one of the best preventive measures available. We urge everyone to take this opportunity to get vaccinated, not only for your well-being, but also to contribute to the overall health and safety of our community.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto Medical Officer of Health
SOURCE City of Toronto