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Toronto considering moving beyond age for COVID vaccine eligibility: mayor
April 6, 2021

Toronto's mayor says mobile vaccination clinics targeting workplaces are in the works

As COVID-19 variants continue to infect and sicken working-age residents throughout the GTA, Toronto Mayor John Tory has finally started to consider expanding vaccine eligibility to beyond one based strictly upon age.

Mayor John Tory suggested to CP24 on Monday that it might be time to consider offering vaccines to younger workers in higher-risk professions outside of front-line medical jobs.

Toronto considering moving beyond age for COVID vaccine eligibility: mayor
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“The age-groups were set by the province on the basis that everybody would have agreed on -- you take the older people first because they’re most at risk and work your way down from there,” he said.

“Is there a need now to have a second look at this and redouble our efforts to go into factories and workplaces, which was not something that was as much of (a priority)? …. But we’ve now seen it’s a place where these variants are having outbreaks.”

Such a program, he said, would use the same mobile vaccination model currently under development.

Last month, the city issued a $5.5-million request for proposal seeking operators for a mobile vaccination and information program targeting areas of the city which have been hardest-hit by COVID-19.

On Saturday, Toronto expanded eligibility to those 60 and over at city-run mass vaccination clinics.

To date, Toronto has administered around 596,000 COVID-19 vaccines.

When asked about the lower-than-anticipated numbers of people registering for their shot, Tory attributed the vast numbers of unfilled appointments to vaccine hesitancy rather than the now-questioned strategy of prioritizing vaccinations by age.

People wait their turn as nurses from Humber River Hospital's mobile vaccine clinic administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Toronto and Region Islamic Congregation Centre as part of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, in Toronto, April 1, 2021.
Nurse Kevin Sagun with Humber River Hospital draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before administering it at a LOFT community housing complex in Toronto, March 26, 2021.
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“I thought when we opened the large vaccine clinics, people would be beating the door down,” Tory said, envisioning large lines of unregistered Torontonians shirking the warnings he and other city officials have been making for weeks about not showing up at a clinic without a confirmed appointment.

“That hasn’t been the case.”