As the vaccine rollout is occurring in our regions, there have been some good opportunities for clergy to get vaccinated and also for churches to step out as “first responders” in their communities.
Offer Your Church Facility as a Vaccination Site:
Mid-March, Jaffray Chinese Alliance Church was contacted by the public health office in their region and asked if they would be willing to be a vaccination site, as their area was a Covid ‘hot spot.’ They were given a week to gather volunteers and prepare their facility, in exchange for getting their congregation vaccinated and be able to provide a place for people in their community to be vaccinated.
As the 3rd wave is upon us, there are growing reports of ‘hot spots’ across our ECD district. You may want to consider being proactive and get in touch with the public health office in your region and offer your facility for this purpose. Doug Ford said on Wednesday, “We need to get the vaccines where they will have the greatest impact as quickly as possible,” He said that mobile teams will work to get vaccines to high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers in hot spot neighbourhoods, starting with Toronto and Peel Region. In those settings, he said, the vaccine will be offered to people ages 18 and older.” City of Toronto working with healthcare and community partners to launch Phase 2 vaccine rollout in priority neighbourhoods – City of Toronto
Faith-leaders being offered the Pfizer Vaccine
As the roll out began, faith leaders who were considered at ‘high-risk’ were being offered the Pfizer vaccine in various locations around the GTA. High-risk was determined based on home visits or funerals and caring for those in hospitals etc. However as the roll out is occurring, there is an urgency on the part of the government to make sure that all the vaccines they do have are being used. As a result, we’ve been advised by some that are working in these sites, that if you are a faith leader you should sign up and go with some documentation, ready to truthfully answer the questions they ask. As they are desirous to get people vaccinated and use their supply, the gates are opening up. (click here for a sample site to check that outlines the requirements.)
We are not suggesting you jump the cue or look for privilege, but rather “knock on the door and it just might open for you.” We also want to be proactive in these days to be ‘first responders’ for our communities, reclaiming our ground as an “essential service.”
Late Wednesday afternoon we heard of a mobile clinic opportunity opening up at Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church. They saved 75 spots for ECD workers and spouses. We reached out to as many of you as we could on a first come, first serve basis, and it was filled up over night. As we hear of more opportunities we will be in touch.