Hot-spot pop-ups off to a rough start

The hot-spot vaccination programs may be off to a rough start, according to The Star.

Many residents in a Toronto Community Housing building on Weston Road opened their doors Friday morning, surprised to see two Humber River Hospital staff in yellow protective gear, face shields, masks and blue gloves, accompanied by a table filled with COVID-19 vaccines

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“I honestly do not think that enough focus has been placed on people’s health, instead of what has been placed on (the) economy,” said 80-year-old Tidy Francis, who rushed to the doorway and yelled in the hallway to medical staff asking if he could get the vaccine. Francis said he wasn’t informed until the last minute and didn’t have the opportunity to register when outreach workers went door-to-door to sign up tenants for the vaccine.

All Westonians will be eligible for a vaccine

It looks like all Westonians and Mount Denizens will be prioritized for vaccination. The details and timeline are not yet clear, but the province has said that mobile vaccination teams and pop-up clinics will come to “highly impacted neighbourhoods” and will give vaccinations “to individuals aged 18 and over.”

The mobile vaccination teams will visit “congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers”. It appears that the clinics will serve the rest of the community at faith-based locations and community centres.

Image via TVO

Those 50+ will also be able to get vaccinated at the city’s clinics starting on Friday; until now they’d only been vaccinated locally.

Image via TVO



Time to get mad

If you’re not yet mad at the slow pace of vaccinations, an article in The Star today will get you going. And if you are already mad, you’ll be furious—as I am.

Most of the seniors at Central King Seniors Residence across from the Weston Library hadn’t received their vaccinations, even though they’ve been eligible for weeks. Why?

Most of them don’t use the internet and aren’t able to book an appointment on their own. Many have significant mobility issues and none of the vaccination sites are nearby. Some can’t afford transportation. Others worry about waiting in long lines.

“They have been left behind,” Oka says. “Not intentionally,” she adds. “But still.”

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She knew the most effective way to get her residents vaccinated was if the vaccine came to them. So she sent requests to every level of government, making her case in detailed emails.

Eventually she heard back from her MPP, Faisal Hassan, who, in collaboration with Humber River Hospital, arranged for a pop-up clinic at the building last week.

God bless Bardha Oka. Give her an award, the key to the town. Name a street after her. She probably saved many lives.

But see, too, that this is no way to run a vaccination plan. Why should one person be responsible? And why should she have to fight to get it done? This is insane. And how many more seniors’ residences are out there with less empowered staff than Bardha Oka?