My Statement on Anti-Vaccination Protests Targeting Hospitals
Targeting hospitals with anti-vaccination protests is a despicable, disgusting tactic. After everything our healthcare workers have been through, and with vulnerable patients inside, it's abhorrent behaviour.
Over the weekend, when I first heard disturbing reports of these planned protests, I reached out to City officials to ensure plans were put in place to create safe and harassment-free access for patients, visitors, and staff. Going forward I will continue to work with the City, the Provincial and Federal Governments, and our hospital partners to ensure all measures are in place to ensure the continued safe access to health services.
The right to protest does not extend to a right to put people in danger, to block safe access to healthcare for patients and ambulances, or to harass and threaten the essential workers who have given their all to save lives throughout the pandemic.
This group is a tiny, loud minority that does not reflect the opinions of Torontonians. To date 77.9% of Torontonians are fully vaccinated, 83.9% % have had their first dose, and extensive research has found that the largest group of Torontonians yet to get a shot simply have questions they need answered or barriers they need overcome. Our recent Toronto Public Health polling from last month found that only 6% of Torontonians are opposed to getting vaccinated. And the number of people who were feeling unsure about getting vaccinated fell by 7 percentage points since the spring.
We must not let these unacceptable tactics undermine our progress to date, or distract us from the hard work still ahead. The reality is that Toronto is already a world-leader in the proportion of people vaccinated, and every day Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto healthcare partners are focused on reaching the remaining people who need extra help accessing vaccines.
Let's get on with this important work, and thank and appreciate all that our health care heroes have done for us – and continue to do every day – through this extremely difficult time.