COVID-19: Toronto-run vaccine clinics almost fully booked through June 6; Ontario to offer Moderna at pharmacies

The daily case count stays under 3,000 for a second day, but the province continues to see lower-than-average testing numbers


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ActiveTO to return to Lake Shore West on May 15 weekend

2:35 pm Lake Shore West will close down to vehicle traffic on the weekend of May 15-16 as part of ActiveTO. The strip was hugely popular during the road closure program last year, but was not included in this year’s plans due to traffic concerns caused by construction at Roncesvalles and Queen West.

Mayor John Tory said today more details would be provided “early next week.” ActiveTO sees major roads closed so pedestrians and cyclist can exercise while keeping a distance from others. The program launched on Lake Shore East, Bayview and River last weekend.


City-run vaccine clinics nearly booked up through early June: Pegg

2:30 pm The nine city-run vaccine clinics are nearly fully booked up, Toronto’s general manager for emergency response Matthew Pegg said today.

During a briefing at city hall, Pegg said 223,817 people booked vaccination appointments at city clinics after the province opened online booking eligibility to people aged 18 and up in hot spots.

When the eligibility expands again tomorrow morning to all people age 50 and up, the city will make 60,000 appointments available between June 7-13.

As of today, Pegg said 99 per cent of all appointments at city clinics are booked this week; 93 per cent are booked for the week of May 10; 97 per cent are booked for the week of May 24; and 96 per cent are booked for the week of May 31.

He said there has been variability in appointments as people cancel. Hospital and health-care teams are also hosting clinics. For a list of clinics, visit vaccineto.ca.

Toronto’s mass immunization clinics will start administering second doses the week of July 7 and continue with second-shot appointments weekly thereafter.


Health Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 12 and up

2 pm Health Canada announced this morning that the agency has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15. Previously, the two-dose vaccine was approved for people aged 16 and up.

It’s the first vaccine to be approved for use in children in the country. During a briefing at Queen’s Park this afternoon, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province is working on plans to begin vaccinating people aged 12-17 but did not provide further details.

Last month, the pharmaceutical giant said a clinical trial found the vaccine to be safe for use and produced an antibody response in people age 12 to 15. Canada is the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for use in kids, Health Canada Chief Medical Advisor Supriya Sharma said today.


Ontario to deliver first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 65 per cent of adults by end of May

1:45 pm The province is on track to give a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 65 per cent of adults by the end of the month, Health Minister Christine Elliott said today.

Elliott said the target is possible thanks to a steady supply of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. She noted attaining herd immunity will be a challenge but Ontario is “moving in the right direction.”

“Herd immunity is going to be much more difficult due to the variants of concern,” she said. “We’re going to need to continue to follow the public health measures that we’ve been following for the past year… that will need to continue for a period of time until everyone in Ontario receives a vaccination that wants to receive one.”

Ontario plans to open online booking for vaccination appointments to all adults aged 18 and over by the week of May 24. Online booking eligibility will expand to all adults age 50 and up on May 6.

Additionally, the province is launching mobile vaccine units to small- and- medium-sized businesses in hot spots on May 7. The initial roll out will see five units deployed to workplaces and could expand to up to 15.

“These mobile units will begin offering vaccinations in Toronto, York and Peel at select businesses that have employees who cannot work from home and have a history or risk of outbreaks,” the province said in a statement. “Each public health unit will determine the small- to- medium-sized businesses where mobile units will be deployed.”

Employer-led vaccination clinics are now taking place in Peel Region at Maple Lodge Farms, Maple Leaf Foods and Amazon. The initiative will expand to Loblaw Companies, Walmart Canada, HelloFresh, Magna, Air Canada and Purolator Inc. A clinic will also be set up at the Ontario Food Terminal on May 10.

The province is making the Moderna vaccine available at up to 60 pharmacies staring this week, including locations in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex and York, including in hot spot areas for individuals aged 18 and over. Moderna will become available at more pharmacies throughout May, the province said. See the list of pharmacies offering the Moderna vaccine here.


Ontario reports 2,941 new COVID-19 cases, 44 deaths

11:30 am Ontario is reporting 2,941 new cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths on May 5, the second consecutive day of case counts under 3,000 after a month of daily cases over that mark.

However, testing numbers have been significantly lower, which could partially account for the low case counts. The province completed just 33,740 tests on Tuesday, marking an 8.3 per cent positivity rate, and 45,767 on Wednesday, marking a 6.4 per cent positivity rate.

The province detected 2,791 new cases on Tuesday, 3,436 on Monday and 3,732 on Sunday.

An additional 132,603 doses of the vaccine were administered in the past day, bringing the provincial total to 5,599,723 total doses administered and 381,123 people fully vaccinated.

Of the deaths reported today, one was someone between the ages of 20 and 39 and 11 were people between the ages of 40 and 59.

There are 882 patients in intensive care, down by four from the day before. The Ministry of Health has yet to update the data on active cases and hospitalizations for today.

To date, there have been 479,633 total COVID-19 cases in Ontario and 8,187 deaths.


New COVID-19 cases in Ontario on May 5

The following regions reported five or more new COVID-19 cases:

Toronto = 924

Peel = 565

York Region = 254

Durham Region = 171

City of Hamilton = 149

Ottawa = 140

Middlesex-London = 114

Halton Region = 114

Niagara Region = 108

Simcoe Muskoka District = 65

Windsor-Essex County = 47

Region of Waterloo = 45

Brant County = 31

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 27

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox
& Addington = 25

Southwestern = 18

Lambton = 17

Haldimand-Norfolk = 17

Hastings Prince Edward = 15

Eastern Ontario = 12

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District = 12

Peterborough = 12

Huron Perth = 11

Sudbury & Districts = 9

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge
District = 9

Thunder Bay District = 8

Renfrew County and District = 5

Chatham-Kent = 5

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