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Circle of Care taking vaccination to the front door for vulnerable clients

As vaccine supplies begin to flow, vaccine accessibility becomes more important than ever. Last week, Circle of Care, as part of a Toronto Public Health pilot, visited 6250 Bathurst Street to offer a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to 150 residents. Staff went door-to-door to offer vaccination.

This large, high rise apartment building houses many Circle of Care clients. Earlier this winter, a number of residents were displaced due to a fire in which a resident died. The residents of this building include many elderly and vulnerable people who are at risk of isolation due to mobility or language issues, and could face barriers registering for the vaccine and traveling to a vaccination centre.

“The residents we vaccinated were happy,” says Reeshma Harripersad, Professional Practice Lead. “I felt very purposeful and proud to be part of this project. I know, ultimately, it will save lives.”

Circle of Care Russian-speaking staff were particularly instrumental to the entire project, as the building houses a large number of Russian-speaking residents. Margaryta Tsygankova, a Client Services Supervisor, stayed the entire day to help support these residents by helping them with paperwork and translating their questions. She was joined by Sofia Veinshtein, a 24-year Circle of Care veteran who normally works at the Adult Day Program.

“It was a great collaboration between different teams and a mix of professionals,” says Tsygankova. “It was a long, not easy day, but we made it! All the doses were used, and it was a success.”

“I was happy to see the residents become relieved,” adds Veinshtein. “They went from vulnerable to protected, which made us happy as well.”

Circle of Care, as a proud member of the North York Toronto Health Partners, was pleased to join the contingent of healthcare organizations and clinicians who developed and implemented this initiative, including North York General Hospital, Baycrest, Bernard Betel Centre, UHN, Central LHIN and Michael Garron Hospital.