Ontario has said it will offer COVID-19 vaccines to residents aged 18 and older in hot-spot postal codes, starting with the hardest-hit neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel Region. Here are the key details on how the plan will work:
How do I know if I live in a hot-spot neighbourhood?
Ontario's ministry of health has issued a list of hot-spot postal codes in which residents over the age of 18 are eligible for a vaccine. Most of the neighbourhoods are in the Greater Toronto Area, but select postal codes in Niagara, Windsor, Ottawa, and Hamilton are also part of the list that is available online.
How do I book an appointment if I'm over 18 and live in a hot-spot neighbourhood?
Currently, residents aged 50 and older living in hot-spot postal codes in Toronto and Peel Region can schedule appointments through the provincial booking portal.
Other residents in those areas are being told to check with their local public health unit for details.
For example, Toronto Public Health's website has a list of city-run clinics and a search tool to find vaccination sites based on a resident's location.
The province said Tuesday that mobile sites and pop-up clinics, largely organized by community groups, will target residents aged 18 and older in "high risk" neighbourhoods within certain postal codes.
Appointments for those clinics will not be available through the provincial booking portal.
Where are these community-focused clinics?
Public health officials are partnering with community groups like faith-based organizations and large employers to target hot-spot neighbourhoods.
For example, a mosque in Toronto's hard-hit Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood hosted a pop-up immunization clinic last Friday and Saturday. Although these mobile clinics will be hosted by community organizations, the province has mandated that they are open to all adults within that postal code, not just employees or congregation members.
These community partners are also responsible for outreach and notifying their neighbourhood about upcoming pop-up clinics through social media, word of mouth, and local advertising.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2021.
The Canadian Press