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York Region aims for 10K dose benchmark daily in March to vaccinate 75% of population by September

Region will have 7 vaccination operating in March
Feb. 19, 2021
Dina Al-Shibeeb

Amid vaccine supply uncertainty, York Region is aiming for a benchmark of 10,000 daily doses, delivered across seven centres, starting in March, Katarina Garpenfeldt, chief of COVID-19 vaccine operations at York Region, said Feb. 18.

To meet the federal government’s target, York Region aims to have 75 per cent of its 1.2-million local population vaccinated by September.

"As mentioned a few times that the vaccine supply is uncertain, however, we were asked by Gen. (Rick) Hillier to come up with a plan to handle 10,000 doses a day within York Region starting in March," said Garpenfeldt, referring to the retired general leading Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Richmond Green Community Centre in Richmond Hill is expected to see 2,280 daily doses; Markham’s Aaniin Community Centre, 2,280; Vaughan’s Maple Community Centre, 1,482; York Region Administrative Centre, 684; Newmarket’s Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, 1,200 doses; Markham’s Cornell Community Centre, 1,700, and Vaughan’s Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, 1,000.

"The plan is based on having seven mass immunization clinics delivering approximately 10,626 doses daily -- three of those clinics that we are finalizing right now, in partnership with our local municipalities," she added.

With Vaughan being the second-largest municipality in York Region, Garpenfeldt admitted the daily doses per day there is less than proportionate.

"However, we are pursuing additional spaces or capacity involved to increase our daily vaccinations through the Wonderland drive-thru clinic, as many of you may have heard of," she said.

"Public Health is currently running clinics at the York Region Administrative Centre, and we could increase capacity there, as well."

Doses, however, will increase to the range from 13,278 to 14,046 starting April.

The Canada’s Wonderland clinic falls in the April-to-May timeline, while Markham Fairgrounds is in the June-to-July period.  Also, Georgina Ice Palace will be added from April until July.

The vaccine distribution plan is also made of three phases.

The first phase, which York Region is still currently at, is to prioritize high-risk populations, such as 13,000 people located in congregate living, 48,000 healthcare workers, almost 6,000 adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities and 8,000 adults with chronic ailment and home care recipients.

The first phase started in December last year and runs until the end of March this year.

The second phase will include deliveries to about 369,000 essential workers, 157,000 adults who are older than 60, 321,000 people in at-risk populations and 66,000 adults between the ages of 16 to 60.  This will start in April and run until the end of July.

Zahra Kassam, COVID-19 vaccine operations chief and health emergency operations centre director, said this plan gives a preliminary groundwork for bringing mass immunization to all residents of York Region.

"We submitted a draft of this plan on Jan. 21 as required, and subsequently a final version on Jan. 31,” Kassam, said.

"This plan in the draft format was also shared earlier with the members of the board of health. As a follow-up, the ministry of health arranged for knowledge sharing sessions, where we provided a presentation to Gen. Hillier and his team, which were very well received. A similar presentation was requested and provided to the provincial vaccine task force yesterday, which was also well received."