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GTHA Mayors and Chairs request additional COVID-19 vaccine supply

HAMILTON, ON - Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to COVID-19 across the region.

The cities represented by the GTHA Mayors and Chairs are making considerable efforts to vaccinate residents laid out in the provincial government’s priority list as quickly as vaccine supply permits.

The GTHA Mayors and Chairs raised the need for a more reliable and increased supply stream of the vaccine from the federal and provincial governments with a focus on hot spots that are facing larger case counts. During the meeting, the participants called on the provincial and federal governments to work together to prioritize regions, including the GTHA and other areas across the country, that are facing greater impacts from the virus by increasing their supply of the vaccine. Current numbers clearly indicate this region is a COVID-19 hot spot and we believe vaccine allocation should take that into account, in the GTHA and in other hot spot areas in the country.

The GTHA Mayors and Chairs urge all seniors age 70 and older to sign up for their vaccine appointment. We want our seniors to get vaccinated as soon as possible. With availability of appointments across the region, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs made a request to the province to increase marketing and advertising efforts to encourage people to sign up and to address vaccine hesitancy. We will also be staying in close touch in the days ahead with respect to ongoing provincial eligibility requirements.

GTHA Mayors and Chairs discussed their concerns about the high case counts over the past week and the increased number of cases that are being identified as the variants of concern. In response to these increased case counts, and as cities continue to move forward in the provincial framework, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs are reminding residents to stay vigilant and to continue to follow the public health guidelines.

“Within the current constraints of vaccine supply, our local teams continue to make great progress in vaccinating residents per the provincial rollout plan. I strongly encourage everyone in our community age 70 and older to sign up for their vaccine appointment as soon as possible. It is vital that everyone, even those who have been vaccinated, ensure public health measures are still followed. That means celebrating upcoming events like Easter and Ramadan virtually, and avoid in-person gatherings. Working together, we can avoid a spike in cases, protect our hospitals from being overwhelmed and keep our communities safe.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger