The City of Toronto says 31,000 vaccine appointments for children between the ages of five and 11 were booked on Tuesday — the first day that parents could schedule appointments for their children across Ontario.
The City says a total of 49,000 appointments will be available to kids over the next two-and-a-half weeks.
Mayor John Tory was impressed with how quickly the appointments were being booked.
“This is terrific news for the safety and well-being of those kids, the safety and well-being of our collective health, but also things like keeping our schools open and trying to finally put this nasty pandemic behind us.”
“These vaccines are effective, and they are safe,” he added.
Toronto was the first city in Ontario to start vaccinating children on Tuesday, but the initial rollout involved just 10 children.
Mayor Tory said he hopes to see that number swell until most of the 200,000 children between the ages of five to 11 in Toronto are inoculated.
On Wednesday, Tory, Toronto Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy, and Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, were at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to update the City’s vaccine rollout for kids.
The Convention Centre is home to one of five City-run vaccine clinics catered to appeal to children and ease their anxieties.
At the clinics, kids are greeted with a superhero vaccine passport. They also receive stickers, colouring sheets, and participate in activities and pose for pics at superhero selfie stations.
The clinics will be open starting Thursday at the following locations:
- Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., North Building, Hall A
- Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall
- Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Dr.
- Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
- Woodbine Mall, 500 Rexdale Blvd.
School-based mobile clinics will also begin doling out shots on Thursday. Some local pharmacies and doctor’s offices will also start administering the shots to kids.
De Villa addressed apprehensions some parents may have about their kids being vaccinated, noting that three million children have been vaccinated in the United States, and so far, there have been “no major signals of concern.”
De Villa also quoted her colleague, Dr. Peter Juni of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Table, who said this week that the COVID-19 vaccines are “the most studied vaccines in the history of the world.”
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