Today it was announced by Health Canada that they have approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use across Canada. This approval should help with vaccine supply around the country, as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.
On top of this announcement, we have also been told that Pfizer will be moving up their vaccine delivery schedule for Canada, and the 3.5 million doses originally slated to arrive in the summer should be arriving instead in the next three months.
These are positive developments and welcome news on a day where Ontario saw another 1250 new cases of COVID-19, an increase from the sub-1000 cases counts we have seen in the last couple days. Of course, as we are entering a weekend, I want to remind everyone that we must continue to take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. As you know, that means washing your hands, maintaining your physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
This afternoon, the province also announced its updated Phase Two COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan.
During this stage, which will operate between now and the end of July, they will be focusing on people over the age of 60, or people who are otherwise at risk. While this plan incorporates some of what the Ontario NDP have been advocating for, including vaccinations for people with underlying conditions and people living in hot spot areas, the Province is still not starting vaccinations for those newly added groups for another month.
To read the full announcement from the province on Stage Two, click here.
This morning, I spent time speaking with representatives from Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Central LHIN about the vaccine distribution plan for our community and made sure they were made aware of organizations in our community that are willing to provide space, and of buildings with a high density of seniors who could require mobile vaccination supports.
If you would like to offer space, or know of a building that could need mobile vaccinations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at [email protected] and we’ll be sure to pass that information along.
Starting Monday, Toronto will be moving into the ‘Grey – Lockdown’ stage of the COVID-19 response framework, meaning that the stay-at-home order is being lifted.
With that said, many restrictions remain in place, including:
- No indoor organized public events or social gatherings, except with members of the same household
- Individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
- No indoor restaurant dining.
One of the key changes in this restriction level is that non-essential retail establishments will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity.
To see the full set of regulations for Grey – Lockdown, click here.
In the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed a piece of mail from my office about housing affordability in our city. Well, tonight I am hitting the phones to thank so many of you for sending in your housing-related questions – the response really was overwhelming!
Keep them coming – if you have not mailed yours in – there is still time!
I believe housing is a human right and it's worth deep investment to ensure each of our community members here in Toronto-St. Paul’s, and across Ontario, has somewhere safe to stay - especially during the pandemic.
Finally, I want to let you know that in the coming weeks many of you will be receiving my updated 2021 Tenant Guide – so keep an eye on your mail!