For anyone who doubts the ability of the public sector to get things done, Toronto’s vaccination effort should be one hell of a confidence booster.
As of the beginning of the week, more than 3.3 million doses of vaccine had been put into 3.3 million arms in Toronto. That’s 3.3 million reasons to believe that when governments at all levels, hospitals and public agencies get on the same page and actually work together, amazing things are possible.
The record-setting vaccine day event held at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday was of course mega impressive. Shots were raining down like Fred VanVleet three pointers on a good night. But I wasn’t surprised — the city and its partners have been crushing it on vaccine delivery for months now.
I’ve been analyzing the data from the Toronto’s vaccination drive, available through Toronto Public Health, and it tells the story of how a bunch of organizations and agencies not always known for working collaboratively or quickly came together to build a delivery network across multiple sites that can get about 63,000 doses into arms in a day — the equivalent of nearly vaccinating the entire town of Caledon each and every day.
The hospital networks got things started, with the University Health Network, Sunnybrook Hospital and Michael Garron Hospital delivering the majority of doses in December, almost immediately after vaccinations got federal approval. Since then, the hospital networks have continued to play a key role in getting the city vaccinated with pop-up clinics and community clinics.
Of the hospitals, the Scarborough Health Network leads the way, with 382,059 doses delivered, following by University Health Network, Michael Garron, and Unity Health Toronto.
The hospitals had a head start on Toronto Public Health, whose mass vaccination clinics didn’t open in earnest until March. But those clinics have kept busy. Toronto Public Health has now delivered more vaccine doses than any other organization.
But the busiest vaccine clinic to date is not one of the city’s mass vaccination centres. Instead, the trophy for most doses delivered goes to the clinic at the Centennial Athletic Centre operated by the Scarborough Health Network. Through Monday, 161,888 arms had been jabbed there, an average of 1,497 per day since March 17.
Across town, the Toronto Congress Centre mass clinic operated by Toronto Public Health in Etobicoke takes the second spot, with 134,162 doses delivered through Monday. The downtown clinic at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre takes the bronze medal, with 130,040 doses.
Additional kudos have go out to the clinics operated by Michael Garron Hospital, who have managed to deliver some incredible one-day numbers. Until this past weekend, their Thorncliffe Park clinic held the daily record with 10,445 doses on May 16 — a mark it took a basketball arena to surpass. On the list of the top 10 days with the most doses at a clinic, the Michael Garron sites in Thorncliffe Park and at Hilltop Warden hold seven spots on the top 10 list of sites with the most doses distributed in a single day.
And let’s give special recognition to the city’s pharmacies, who have combined to deliver 549,497 doses. The Shoppers Drug Mart at Danforth and Coxwell has the high watermark for doses, with 6,317 administered to date.
One thing the data does make clear is that, even with the pace picking up substantially over the last month, there’s still room to work even faster. The mass vaccination site at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, for example, has been averaging about 1,254 doses per day since the clinics ramped up operations in March, but has peaked at 2,695 daily doses. That suggests it’s been operating around half capacity — with more vaccine supply, it could be getting even more people vaccinated.
None of this has been easy. There have been missteps along way. The online booking system offered by the provincial government has been frustrating to use. The shifting advice on AstraZeneca was a significant misfire. But still, the numbers are big, and getting bigger — and nothing matters more.
Remember, not long ago, Toronto was a city full of the hottest of hot-spot neighbourhoods. Now, the city is more than 35 per cent fully vaccinated, with both new and active cases dropping fast. The credit for all this progress can’t just go to the vaccines. It’s also got to go to the people and the organizations who got those vaccines to the people who needed them.
It’s a feat of public sector coordination, driven by thousands of people willing to put in a ridiculous amount of hard work. Put some respect on it.
Article From: The Star
Author: Matt ElliottContributing Columnist