Toronto hopes to increase the number of children who have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by hosting a one-day mass vaccination clinic for children at Scotiabank Arena in December.
The clinic is scheduled for Sunday, December 12 from kl. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The city said 2,000 appointments will be available for children ages five to 11. There will be gifts, music and entertainment throughout the day, the city added.
In a video released on Monday, Mayor John Tory promoted what is being called “Toronto Kids Vaccine Day.” He appeared in front of the Scotiabank Arena with the Toronto Raptor and Carlton the Bear mascots and said the clinic will have a superhero theme.
“Be a superhero in the home of some of Toronto’s favorite sports teams,” Tory said in the video.
In a press release Monday, the city said doctors and nurses from Toronto Public Health and Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) will talk to children and their loved ones about why the vaccine is important and how the vaccination process works.
“These doctors and nurses are experts in talking to children and caregivers about vaccines as well as providing child-friendly experiences for vaccination,” the city said.
SickKids, University Health Network, Michael Garron Hospital and Toronto Public Health are all involved in the clinic, which is organized with the help of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and Scotiabank.
68,722 children aged 5 to 11 years have received the 1st dose
Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s health chief, announced on Monday morning that the province had given the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 68,722 children ages five to 11, or 6.4 percent of that age group.
“I hope the amount of individuals continues so they are best protected during the holiday season, where we can expect to see more cases,” Moore told reporters.
“The good news in all of this is that the impact on our hospital system is manageable at this point. We have intensive care unit capacity. We are keeping an eye on those numbers like a hawk.”
In the press release, the city tried to reassure parents and caregivers about the safety of COVID-19 vaccination.
“The Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and extremely effective in protecting children between the ages of five and 11 from getting COVID-19. Vaccination also lowers the risk of serious illness or hospitalization,” the city said.
“High levels of vaccination will also help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in households and schools and preserve personal learning and activities when people move indoors during the colder months.”
Public health encourages parents to get children vaccinated
Toronto Public Health, for its part, called on parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated when they are entitled to it, in an effort to help protect children, families, schools and communities.
Dr. Ronald Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said in the release that the hospital is “excited” to attend.
“Vaccinating your child against COVID-19 is an important way to help ensure their health and well-being. The COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada for this age group is safe and effective. We hope this event encourages the Torontonians to help us reach our next vaccine milestones in the fight against COVID-19, “said Cohn.
The city said parents and caregivers can make appointments for children by calling the provincial vaccine order line at 1-833-943-3900. They can also go to the city’s COVID-19: How to get vaccinated Homepage. Children must be five years of age before the end of 2021 (born in 2016) to be eligible for an agreement.
On June 27, the city hosted Toronto Vaccine Day at the Scotiabank Arena, which administered more than 26,000 doses, surpassing the North American record of 17,003 doses by a single-day clinic.