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Covid-19 vaccination pop-up clinic in Davenport with strong participation from Portuguese-speaking communities

Photo by Luís Aparício

The Portuguese-speaking communities in Toronto responded in large numbers to the appeal that Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, made for residents to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Throughout Saturday (June 5), many Toronto residents, the vast majority of whom were Portuguese speakers, stopped by the Covid-19 pop-up vaccination clinic at the Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre to take the vaccine (Pfizer) or, in some cases, clarify doubts about the ongoing vaccination.

“This clinic is specifically for all those who speak Portuguese, over 12 years old who have not yet received the first dose of the vaccine. We know that this is the most effective way to fight the virus”, said Bailão.

For the councillor of Ward 9 (Davenport), it was important to sensitize people about vaccination, and that is why they were concerned to make the whole process as easy as possible. In addition to not needing to make a prior appointment, nor being necessary to present a health card, people could receive the service in their own language, with a team of Portuguese-speaking volunteers on site.

The vaccination pop-up clinic, which operated from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, was offering the first dose of vaccine to people over 12 years old. However, anyone who was over 70 years old and received the 1st dose of the vaccine more than 28 days ago could already receive the 2nd dose.

This was the case of Benilde Anacleto, 71, who took the opportunity to take the second dose, after taking the Pfizer vaccine in March.

“This is good for those people who have difficulty understanding the English language. And here there are people who help in their mother tongue”, said Benilde, who was assisted by a nurse who spoke Portuguese. “People are very welcoming; we shouldn’t be afraid to take this step!”, she added.

Gil Ventura, who belongs to the Angolan community in Ontario, brought his 17-year-old son (who declined to be identified) to take the first dose of the vaccine. “All the other members of the family had already taken the vaccine, all that was needed was him. We were a little worried about that.”

In Ventura’s view, this initiative comes to combat a certain misinformation that has damaged the vaccination campaign.

The City of Toronto, along with its health partners, pharmacies, and Toronto Public Health, organized over the weekend a total of 60 vaccination clinics to administer all available COVID-19 vaccines.

“The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner we can bring this pandemic to an end”, said Mayor John Tory, who stopped by.

According to the latest update (June 5), 2,311,561 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Toronto.

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