News Release
December 8, 2022

Today, Mayor John Tory, joined by the City of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, announced that the City of Toronto is extending the operation of its COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams (VETs) until the end of March 2023, ensuring continued support for COVID-19 vaccine equity and access for all residents.

The VETs operate across the city in 17 geographic and population-based consortiums made up of more than 150 health, community and faith-based organizations. This includes more than 720 community ambassadors who reflect the diversity of Toronto’s equity-deserving groups and have roots in the communities where they work to build trust and help residents learn about the importance of COVID-19 and flu vaccination.

Since the program’s launch in March 2021, the VETs have spent more than 136,000 hours building vaccine confidence. VETs have engaged with Torontonians more than 4.4 million times in more than 40 different languages. VETs continue to help people navigate the COVID-19 vaccine registration system and find a vaccine clinic in their neighbourhood with door-to-door visits, community events, phone calls, online social media campaigns and virtual events.

More information about VETs is available on the City’s COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams webpage.

VETs have been a key component of the world-leading success and impact of the City’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign. A program evaluation found that the teams have been an effective strategy for increasing vaccine confidence, providing access to vaccine resources, and amplifying public health messaging. VETs promote vaccine uptake among diverse communities across Toronto and reduce socioeconomic barriers to government services. The work of the VETs was acknowledged at a special presentation at Toronto City Council in April 2022.

VETs funding was extended twice since the initiative first launched in March 2021; the first extension occurred in January 2022 and the second in July 2022. The current extension ensures that this vital work continues beyond this calendar year to the end of March 2023.

Toronto residents are encouraged to receive all COVID-19 vaccine doses as soon as they are eligible, including all booster doses, for the best protection against the virus. Data consistently indicates that residents who have kept up-to-date with their vaccinations are better protected against serious consequences linked to the virus, compared to those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.

The Moderna Spikevax® Bivalent (50mcg) COVID-19 vaccine is available to adults and the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty BA.4/5 Bivalent (30 mcg) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is available for individuals age 12 years of age and older. Appointments to receive a bivalent booster can be booked now through the provincial booking system. More information is available on the City’s COVID-19: About the Vaccines webpage.

Residents will be able to get vaccinated by Team Toronto partners, including City-run immunization clinics, primary care offices, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, and more than 525 pharmacies. A full list of clinic locations and hours is available on the City’s COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.


“The Vaccine Engagement Teams are an excellent reflection of our city’s diversity and have done a terrific job building trust in communities to get more Torontonians the information they need to get vaccinated. This program was recognized by City Council earlier this year, deservingly so, as trusted leaders within neighbourhoods with low vaccine uptake who worked hard to help their communities. These efforts were key in helping people who communicate in languages other than English, and who require more information about vaccines, about the proven and essential benefits of vaccination.”
– Mayor John Tory

“Toronto’s Vaccine Engagement Teams and community ambassadors perform critical work in Toronto’s neighbourhoods by providing credible information about vaccination in a variety of languages. Their work has not only increased vaccine uptake, but provided key public health information that has protected communities and protected the most vulnerable.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations
Toronto Public Health