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Ontario launches mobile vaccine units in hot spot workplaces in Brampton and Mississauga

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Ontario launches mobile vaccine units in hot spot workplaces in Brampton and Mississauga

Health Canada's chief medical advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma said the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine was 100 per cent for the age group. QUICKBITE PHOTO

Today (May 5), the province announced plans to launch pop-up vaccination clinics at small to medium-sized businesses in COVID-19 hot spots such as Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon, Toronto and York Region.

The Province also said it expects to administer first doses to 65 per cent of adults by the end of May.

The Province said the pop-ups will serve companies with employees who cannot work from home and have a history or risk of outbreaks. Each public health unit will determine the small to medium-sized businesses where mobile units will be deployed.

“The new mobile units for at-risk businesses are another step in our efforts to get more people in priority areas vaccinated as conveniently and as quickly as possible,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in a statement.

“These mobile units are designed to be rapidly deployed to a diversity of small to medium-sized workplaces and will help strengthen our capacity to reach areas where the need is greatest.”

Starting May 7, an initial rollout of up to five mobile units is planned with a possible expansion of up to 15 units once the program is fully established.

According to the Ontario government, each mobile unit will be equipped with the necessary staff, vaccines and resources to immunize all employees at the selected workplaces.

Vaccinations at workplaces have already begun, with employers such as Maple Lodge Farms, Maple Leaf Foods and Amazon Canada opting to run their own clinics at sites in Brampton and Mississauga.

The Province also says that in partnership with Peel Public Health, Loblaw Companies, Walmart Canada, HelloFresh, Magna, Air Canada and Purolator Inc. are setting up workplace vaccination clinics for workers who cannot work from home. These clinics are expected to launch this month.

Employer-operated on-site clinics are funded and operated by participating employers in hot-spot areas and will vaccinate employees aged 18 or older as well as members of the local and neighbouring communities.

They must have the support of local public health units or hospitals to host an onsite vaccine clinic as the program needs to be consistent with local plans, along with other eligibility criteria.

A workplace vaccination clinic will also be operationalized at the Ontario Food Terminal, the largest wholesale fruit and produce distribution centre in Canada, starting May 10.

“With a stable and reliable of supply of vaccines expected this month, our government is further accelerating our vaccine rollout with a focus on individuals and settings most at risk,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a statement.

“Vaccines remain our best defence against COVID-19, and I strongly encourage all Ontarians to schedule their appointment as soon as it’s their turn to help protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.”

The Ontario government also announced that starting this week, pharmacies can start using the Moderna vaccine. Up to 60 pharmacies will participate, with locations in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex and York participating. Further expansion of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the pharmacy channel will continue through May.

As of May 6, 2021, at 8 a.m., the province will expand booking eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine appointments to individuals aged 50 and over, individuals with high-risk health conditions, select people who cannot work from home and First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals.

Appointments can be booked through the provincial booking system and booking line or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.

Eligible populations who have only been able to book via the provincial booking line (1-833-943-3900) will now also be able to book online, including individuals with the highest risk health conditions, child care workers in licensed child care settings and education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs.

As of May 4, 2021, over 5.5 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, with over 92 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over and 90 per cent of residents aged 75 to 79 having received at least one dose. More than 43 per cent of the population aged 18 and over have received at least one dose and over 381,000 Ontarians are fully immunized, including 95 per cent of long-term care residents.

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