Safe and Warm piloting innovative drive-thru flu clinics in Scarborough
A joint project for flu vaccination, coordinated by the Scarborough Health Team partners
“It is important for everyone who can to get their flu shot this year. The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19, but it will protect you from the flu or reduce the severity of illness from the flu. It will also prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed with additional patient visits, and it may even reduce the need for you to get tested for COVID-19, as the symptoms are very similar.”
Toronto Public Health, Updated September 30, 2020
Scarborough, ON, October 15, 2020: Last year’s Safe and Warm collaboration was such a great success, plans are well underway to ensure EVERYONE has access to get their flu shot as early as possible. This year, in response to safety measures required for the COVID-19 pandemic, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities (SCHC) and Carefirst will pilot a new model of delivering the flu vaccine while individuals remain safe and warm in their vehicles.
Scarborough has the largest proportion of visible minorities and racialized groups already experiencing health inequities, disproportionally affected by COVID-19. Our group, members of the proposed Scarborough Ontario Health Team, is working to ensure that flu clinics are being run in the neighborhoods of highest need. Between the 30+ well-established health organizations in the Scarborough Health Team we are bringing the flu shot to places like Toronto Community Housing buildings, health and community centres and other convenient locations.
Focus will be on people most vulnerable to complications and hospitalization from the flu, especially people 65 years old and older since their immune systems are weaker and they may have underlying health conditions that increase their risk, plus those people already diagnosed with health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes.
As numbers rise daily for COVID-19 and the cooler weather is bringing people indoors, it’s more important than ever for people to get vaccinated. The vaccine is free, will be administered by registered health professionals and all infection prevention and control protocols will be in place to keep the Scarborough community members healthy and safe. Some clinics are also offering free cloth masks (provided by Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities and donated by caring organizations like Old Navy and private donors ) or warm socks (donated by Socks for Souls Canada) while supplies last.
We urge everyone to do their part and get the shot! A full list of flu clinic locations can be found at https://www.schcontario.ca/scarboroughvsflu.html
Our Organization: Planning for flu clinics is just the first step for our Scarborough health partners. This group has come together to collectively design a better coordinated and integrated system of health care for Scarborough. We were invited to submit a full application on September 18th to be an Ontario Health Team by the Ontario Ministry of Health and are eagerly anticipating the response.
Here is a link to the most recent news on Ontario Health Teams: https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/57722/17-more-teams-invited-to-complete-full-application-to-become-an-ontario-health-team
Lisa Cipriano, Scarborough Health Network, firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-356-7950