Almost all of Toronto's city-run vaccine clinic appointments booked for May, mayor says

Almost every appointment at Toronto's city-run COVID-19 sites has been booked for the month of May, says Mayor John Tory.

City reported 991 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Philemon Nyarko, 36, gets a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Ian Katz at a temporary clinic run by Humber River Hospital at The Church Of Pentecost Canada in northwest Toronto on May 4, 2021. (Evan Mitsui)

Almost every appointment at Toronto's city-run COVID-19 sites has been booked for the month of May, says Mayor John Tory.

The city will make another 60,000 appointments available tomorrow when the province will begin allowing people 50 and older and with high-risk health conditions to book online. The catch is the new appointments won't be until June. 

Appointments continue to be available at pharmacies, and residents can also go to pop-up clinics in their neighbourhoods.

"We continue to need more vaccine and we've made that clear to other governments who receive it from the manufacturer," Tory told reporters. "We have considerable additional capacity to do more at city-operated clinics." 

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, the general manager of Toronto's Office of Emergency Management, said for every vaccine dose the city is set to receive, it opens the same number of appointments.

"There is really no other secret formula other than more vaccine," he said. 

COVID-19 situation 'stabilizing,' de Villa says

Toronto reported 991 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, according to provincial numbers, suggesting cases are beginning to plateau weeks into the third wave. More than 1,160 patients were in hospital and 281 receiving intensive care.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said the city's situation is "stabilizing" but likened it to a patient moving from critical to serious condition — an improvement but still in danger.

The city's numbers reflect a larger trend, with Ontario reporting fewer than 3,000 new cases for the second day in a row. 

The province has also said that although intensive care unit admissions have climbed to more than 900, doctors likely won't have to activate the triage model that would have required them to decide which patients get potentially life-saving care.

Toronto Public Health has administered 1.2 million vaccine doses and is expanding mobile and pop-up clinics in hot spot neighbourhoods for residents 18 and older. 

With increased vaccine deliveries from the federal government this week, the province announced it is launching mobile units to offer vaccines at small to medium sized workplaces in Toronto hot spots, as well as in Peel and York. 

The mobile units will target businesses where employees can't work form home and have a history of outbreaks, the province said in a news release.

Soon, people as young as 12 years old will be eligible for a shot of Pfizer, as Health Canada has authorized it for adolescents.