When children are allowed to roll up their sleeves to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Toronto hopes to make them feel like superheroes.
Joe Cressy, a councillor and chair of Toronto’s Board of Health, said of the vaccine distribution, “We’ve learnt a critical lesson about fun.”
“We’ve helped millions of Torontonians book DJs, live music, and even world-record-breaking events. Getting vaccinated is a civic duty; it protects you and your community, but it should also be a cause for celebration. It should be enjoyable.”
The city has unveiled their logo for their new vaccine rollout, which will target kids between the ages of five and 11. Health Canada is currently in the process of approving a shot for this age group, and health officials say they expect an answer to come by the end of the month.
The multi-coloured “Team Toronto Kids” poster features a family of superheroes. The superhero motif will continue at vaccination clinics with thematic selfie stations.
“Frankly, kids across Toronto will have a chance to roll up their sleeves and be a real superhero,” Cressy said.
The city said the vaccine rollout plan will be “needs-based, data-driven and equity focused.” There will be clinics at large fixed-sites such as immunization clinics, as well as at schools, hospitals, local doctor offices and pharmacies.
The city has also released a list of 30 neighbourhoods that will host school-based clinics in the first part of the vaccine rollout. The neighbourhoods were identified based on COVID-19 case rates during the fourth wave, socio-economic demographics and well as vaccination rates in individuals between the ages of 12 and 17.
The following neighoburhoods will be targeted in this part of the vaccine rollout:
• Black Creek
• Dorset Park
• Eglinton East
• Elms-Old Rexdale
• Englemount-Lawrence Flemingdon Park
• Glenfield-Jane Heights
• Islington-City Centre West
• Kingsview Village-The Westway
• Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown
• Mount Dennis
• Scarborough Village
• Thorncliffe Park
• West Hill
• West Humber-Clairville
• York University Heights
A large part of the vaccination strategy depends on education and awareness, the city said. The city will launch a kid-friendly “comprehensive advertising campaign” in multiple languages across all platforms.
An information campaign was launched earlier this month in anticipation of a vaccine becoming available for children. This included a toolkit for parents and guardians that shared reliable information about vaccination and hopes to answer questions about the shots.
The city will also be running town halls.