Toronto to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine clinic operations in response to Omicron, which is operating in a converted hospital.
Toronto’s largest COVID-19 vaccine clinic has opened operations Monday, following two other clinics set to open. The Centre for Immunization Research opens its doors at 6:30 am Monday at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute at Lawrence and Sheppard, but the first vaccine clinic is due to open shortly thereafter at the University Health Network (UHN) Munk Centre. More
“The virus is being weaponized to create a public health crisis, and people are going to need a lot more support — and they’re going to need it fast,” says Dr. Mona Mazigh, who oversees the UHN vaccine clinic.
There are few facilities in North America where a physician can offer immunizations for free — an essential medical service that must be provided at hospitals if a patient is discharged without access to a vaccine — but the Centre for Immunization Research (CIR) has long been at the forefront of responding to growing demand for COVID-19 vaccines, which are needed to treat those who are infected with or have recovered from the virus.
By mid-April, there would be 10,000 Canadians hospitalized with COVID-19. About 3,000 are in intensive care units.
In Ontario alone, there are about 2,600 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health website.
But demand continues to outpace supply, and health officials are increasingly turning to new initiatives like the expanded vaccine clinic.
“This is exactly how the virus spreads,” Mazigh says. “These things have to be done on a massive scale. The public demands the virus is being weaponized.”
Dr. Michael Gardam and his team are among the world’s leading vaccine researchers. They are not paid by government. They do this work on behalf of the non-profit UHN, which acts as a hub for vaccine research across Canada.