Toronto to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine clinic operations in response to Omicron’s announcement
The Toronto Public Health vaccine clinic in Markham is one of about 20 clinics that have been converted from routine hospital operating spaces.
On Monday, Ontario announced it would have 1,000 vaccine clinics — as it prepares to ramp up to the number of vaccine clinics expected nationwide, and as it responds to new COVID-19 vaccine supply shortages already being experienced in Ontario.
Vaccine clinics are not COVID labs and are used primarily for the rapid, remote testing of vaccines and other medical products and materials.
When converted from routine operating spaces to vaccine clinics, the facilities operate just like the rest of the hospital for a period of time in order to conduct necessary virus testing, and to conduct the vaccination of those who test positive.
This was done to help ensure that the virus was only tested in those populations who should have been tested due to the risk factors for contracting the virus.
This time, with the virus in the community and already testing in higher numbers (compared to previous years), the virus is only being tested in those populations who are at higher risk.
This means that those who should have been screened and vaccinated are also being tested and vaccinated, but the majority of test recipients will be testing negative and vaccinated. This will ensure that the program is still working, and that those individuals who should be tested and vaccinated are being vaccinated and tested.
This is also the right thing to do.
With the exception of health care workers, those with symptoms are not tested at regular hospital lab locations, so we want as many people as possible to have access to the testing and the vaccine. With the exception of health care workers, we want to ensure that they’re not the ones who get sick, and that the virus doesn’t spread quickly to those who should be at risk.
Dr. Robert Blume, medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health, said Ontario’s vaccine clinic testing is the “best way” for public health to ensure that people receive all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their community.
“We want to make sure that no one gets sick.”
Dr. Blume said the vaccine clinic testing program is in line with WHO recommendations and has been used by WHO-accredited laboratories in other countries around the world.
“These laboratories are internationally recognized and accredited,” Dr. Blume said,