Women’s College Hospital Vaccination Efforts Reach 100,000 Doses
Vaccination outreach targets underserved and hot spot communities across the City of Toronto
Toronto, ON— July 7, 2021 — Women’s College Hospital with the support of their community partners reached a milestone moment this week with the administration of the 100,000th COVID-19 vaccine. Since February 25, 2021 Women’s College Hospital has been working with key partners including Unison Health & Community Services, Mid-West Toronto Ontario Health Team, Toronto school boards, and our vaccination hub partners to help reach individuals in communities with the highest rates of COVID-19 cases and the lowest rates of vaccination.
“This marks an important milestone in reducing barriers to access and vaccinating those individuals in greatest need,” said Heather McPherson, President and CEO, Women’s College Hospital. “The teamwork with all our partners has been truly incredible. Women’s College is a relatively small organization, but being able to administer 100,000 vaccines in otherwise hard to reach communities shows what is possible when we think beyond our walls – and beyond the health sector – to work together to achieve the singular goal of keeping people safe.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has unmasked many long-standing structural inequities in our communities. For individuals lacking internet access, transportation options, schedule predictability and consistent childcare, visiting a mass immunization clinic is not always feasible. In recognition of this, Women’s College Hospital’s vaccination efforts have taken a multi-pronged approach that includes clinics at the Women’s College Family Practice Health Centre, a temporary clinic that operated for four months at the West-End YMCA, over 30 pop-up clinics in priority communities, mobile vaccination teams dispatched to long-term care, retirement homes and shelters, and even teams venturing out on foot to local businesses to vaccinate front-line workers.
“Access to vaccinations is not a one-size fits all approach and getting our vaccination rates as high as possible has to be a team effort,” said Marc Dagher, Medical Director, COVID-19 Programs. Women’s College Hospital. “By bringing vaccine clinics close to home in schools, residential buildings, arenas and local businesses, Women’s College and our partners have helped to close gaps for communities hardest hit by the virus.”
One of the most significant undertakings is a series of pop-up clinics in local schools and arenas. Supporting the City of Toronto Vaccination Sprint Strategy, since the end of April over 30 clinics have been hosted and 77,000 vaccines administered. Consisting of teams of upwards of 100 staff, physicians and volunteers these clinics have moved from site to site every few days and have been integral in our approach.
"Being able to bring thousands of vaccines to those who need it most, in their communities, is the best kind of health care," reiterates Michelle Joseph, Chief Executive Officer at Unison Health & Community Services. “Our collective efforts demonstrate the reach and impact of community agencies, and that when the barriers to access are reduced, many are choosing to be vaccinated.”
For more information about the pop-up vaccine clinics, visit: https://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/covid19/mobile-vaccine-clinics/
About Women’s College Hospital
For more than 100 years, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs.
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