Toronto calls in the superheroes to help with vaccinating young children against COVID-19. Credit:Reuters
Toronto is to take on a new role as a hero by taking on the role of a global leader in getting the world’s children vaccinated, after a group of experts declared the city to be the natural location for the world’s first vaccine field trial.
The World Health Organisation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Department of Health will mobilise around 800 medical teams to help the city and surrounding areas fight the current coronavirus pandemic.
Toronto is among the first 24 cities worldwide with a “novel” immunisation strategy, with the goal of getting at least half a million children – up to 17,000 – vaccinated around the world. Health professionals there are hoping that they will be able to immunise thousands of children against the virus, and to prevent deaths. Meanwhile, a team of experts and thousands of volunteers, spread across the globe and in the city’s medical community, are working to find a vaccine for the virus.
Mayor John Tory, who has been pushing for the vaccine trial, said that the immunisation of children can prevent “billions upon billions” of deaths in the near future if the COVID-19 pandemic can be contained. Mr Tory went on to say that because the vaccine trials are “so big and complex”, Toronto is the best place in the world to take part in it and that the city should get “credibility” for bringing the vaccine to the world.
“The most important thing is that we are protecting and saving lives,” he said.
On Friday, the mayor announced the launch of the first ever “social media campaign” encouraging children to get vaccines for the coronavirus and a “big data-driven” campaign to help people prepare.
The Toronto vaccine trials are set to begin next week and will be hosted by the Dr Michael Mina Hospital, the centre that will house the global vaccine trial.
“I believe we are