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Ontario’s first major COVID-19 vaccination site opens at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

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TORONTO —
The first COVID-19 vaccination site not hosted in an Ontario hospital or long-term care home opens today at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Until now COVID-19 vaccines have only been administered at 19 hospital sites across Ontario but the city has agreed to open a clinic inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in order to help develop a blueprint for how shots could be administered in non-medical settings as soon as this spring.

With an aim of administering at least 250 shots per day, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said last week the facility would be “scale-able” and capable of increasing output with little notice.

The site will run for at least six weeks and will inform how to host vaccination drives in larger settings.

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“The whole idea here is to have a clinic that can vaccinate front-line health-care workers and in the process learn the lessons that have to be learned so when they roll out 50 or even 100 of these mass vaccination clinics around the province all the sort of bugs have been worked out of the system,” Mayor John Tory told CP24 on Monday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Tory toured the site at MTCC’s North Building on Sunday.

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It is not clear how delays in vaccine delivery over the next month due to retooling efforts at Pfizer will impact the pace of vaccinations at the facility.

Ontario aims to begin vaccinating seniors living in the community, essential workers, those living with complex chronic conditions and those from historical marginalized groups staring in April.

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