Published Monday, January 18, 2021 5:46AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 18, 2021 10:57AM EST
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 whole idea here is to have a clinic that can vaccinate frontline healthcare 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.”
In Barrie, officials used a decomissioned police station to administer shots.
In Newmarket, crews set up a vaccination centre in an arena.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Tory toured the site at MTCC’s North Building on Sunday.
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.
The city says the clinic will use Moderna vaccine doses not impacted by the recent production delays announced by Pfizer.
But officials said the Moderna doses may be diverted elsewhere to fill in gaps caused by slowdowns in deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine in coming weeks.
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.
The site will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days per week.