TORONTO – Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones announced additional vaccine clinics in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) that will provide accelerated access to COVID-19 booster shots for education and child care staff. With these additional locations, the Ontario government is enhancing access to vaccination to better protect children, staff, and families as Ontario responds to the Omicron variant.
“Our government has enhanced ventilation in every school, deployed high-quality PPE, and are accelerating access to the COVID-19 vaccine booster for all education and child care staff,” said Minister Lecce. “As we work to get children back to class, we are taking swift action to establish additional clinics – open seven days a week – that will provide further protection for Ontario’s school communities.”
The 10 additional clinics, located in Toronto – Yonge Street – Midtown, Eaton Centre, Richmond Hill, Mississauga, Vaughan, Pickering, Hamilton, Oakville and Brampton will serve education and child care staff in the GTHA during dedicated time slots. The clinics will administer booster doses and will operate seven days a week by appointment.
One of the ten vaccination clinics will be situated inside the Toronto Zoo and operate seven days a week, offering dedicated time slots for education and child care staff between 4 to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday, and on weekends throughout the day. Staff eligible to book an appointment at one of these ten locations can do so starting January 8, 2022.
“The province continues to deliver booster doses as quickly and conveniently as possible, and we are expanding our efforts to additional vaccine clinics in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine offers additional protection against the Omicron variant, and we continue to urge everyone to get their booster dose as soon as possible.”
The Ontario government continues to work with all public health units (PHUs) to explore additional opportunities to provide access to booster doses for education and child care staff across all regions of the province. Local PHUs will continue to provide information on how vaccines can be accessed in their communities.
The announcement of additional vaccination clinics builds on the government’s ongoing efforts and investments to improve safety in schools and child care settings during the pandemic. Measures currently in place include:
- Providing optional non-fit-tested N95 masks to all education and child care staff
- Updated and stricter screening requirements to help limit the spread of COVID-19
- Ventilation improvements measures at every school across Ontario, including more than 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices already deployed to schools
- Access for school boards to $1.6 billion in resources to protect against COVID-19, with 2000 projected additional staff hired, including for example educators, custodians and mental health workers
- New time-limited cohorting protocols.
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health are also working together to make more rapid-antigen tests available to support the ongoing operations of child-care centres and schools when they return to in-person learning.