MPP Begum calls for Scarborough to receive ‘equitable amount’ of COVID-19 vaccines

Doly Begum is the NDP MPP for Scarborough Southwest. Photo: Submitted.

By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Scarborough Southwest MPP Doly Begum held a press conference on Friday, April 16, with Scarborough Health Network ER physician Dr. Lisa Salamon at which they both urged the province to prioritize Scarborough for vaccinations.

It came just days after SHN had to cancel 10,000 vaccination appointments citing a lack of supply.

East Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital also cancelled appointments slated for its mass immunization clinic at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub last week.

Scarborough and Thorncliffe Park are among the most severely hit neighbourhoods in Toronto facing rising cases of COVID-19.

While the cancellations were until Monday, April 19, Dr. Salamon said if vaccine supply is not prioritized for Scarborough, then further appointment cancellations are possible.

“We’re a city in itself and since December we’ve been getting dregs and drabs of the vaccines,” she said.

“We need the vast majority of vaccines to be directed to Thorncliffe, Peel, northwest Toronto, and Scarborough, they’re all being devastated.”

Begum urged the province to deliver an “equitable amount” of vaccines to Scarborough where the virus has spread rapidly among essential workers and racialized communities.

“What I’m seeing in ED (Emergency Department), there are a lot of essential workers, or their family members,” Dr. Salamon said.

Begum also called on the federal government to deliver more vaccine supply to Scarborough and other hard hit communities in the province.

Ontario reported 4,800 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, April 16. On Saturday, April 17, Ontario reported 4,362 new cases; and on Sunday, April 18, Ontario reported 4,250 new cases.

Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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