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Two new city-run vaccination clinics to open Monday, as Torontonians 70 and older urged to get COVID-19 jab
March 29, 2021
Kevin Jiang

Two new mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics are set to open Monday, after a weekend in which city officials pleaded for eligible residents to fill thousands of open booking slots.

During his tour of one of the city’s latest mass-vaccination centres on Sunday, Toronto Mayor John Tory reiterated his plea for seniors aged 70 or older to book their vaccines.

“I continue to urge people to get registered, and to get vaccinated. We have the clinics,” said Tory to reporters at the Malvern Community Recreation Centre at 30 Sewells Rd., in Scarborough on Sunday. “We have the vaccines, we have the staff in place to do it and we have the appointments, so all we need now is you.”

The Malvern centre, along with another mass vaccination centre at Mitchell Field Arena at 89 Church Ave., in North York, is to open Monday at 11 a.m.

They will join three other city-run mass clinics -- at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Scarborough Town Centre and the Toronto Congress Centre -- that opened on March 17.

“These city-run clinics will be able to vaccinate 6,300 people a day and 44,100 people over the course of a week,” Tory told reporters Sunday.

A spokesperson for the city told the Star on Sunday that the mass clinics will be giving the Pfizer vaccine, and “have sufficient vaccine doses available to meet the demand” for clinics vaccinating those 70 and older.

In a press release, Toronto said the new Malvern clinic will run seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will have a capacity of 675 people per day. Capacity may be expanded as vaccine supply increases.

On Friday, Tory announced that almost 30,000 vaccine appointments were available over the following week.

“We need you to sign up to use those appointments, and it will be good for you and for your family and for your friends,” he said in a press conference Friday.

On Saturday, Toronto opened vaccine bookings to residents aged 70 and older. By the end of the day, most of the spots were booked.

“Nearly 22,000 new first and second dose appointments were booked at the city-run clinics (Saturday),” said a spokesperson for Toronto.

“If you’re someone who knows someone of that age and you think it might be helpful to help them register or to help give them a ride to the clinic, please think about making that offer,” Tory said Sunday.

According to a 2016 Statistics Canada census, Toronto has 692,705 residents aged 70 or older -- more than 11 per cent of the city’s population at the time. The 30,000 bookings would cover roughly four per cent of eligible seniors.

Toronto has been dropping the age requirement for vaccines since first opening up bookings to those aged 80 or older on March 12.

As of Saturday, the city has administered 453,932 vaccines in total, through city clinics, hospital partners, health-care teams and pharmacies.

Ontario has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for four straight days as of Sunday, with a seven-day average of 12.3 deaths per day.

As of Sunday, the province had administered 1,981,282 vaccine doses in total, with 309,285 people having received both doses.

Tory urged anyone born in 1951 or earlier to book their vaccine at or call in at 1-888-999-6488.