The City of Toronto announced today that it is increasing the number of community-based program partners to help people without an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card get a COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto. In addition to existing partners Access Alliance and FCJ Refugee Centre, the program is expanding with five new partners: Adam House, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Matthew House, Romero House and Sojourn House.
The City is committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for everyone. The Province of Ontario has clearly stated that residents who do not have an Ontario health card are still eligible for the vaccine, free of charge.
Residents without OHIP cards who meet the current vaccine eligibility criteria can get assistance booking a vaccination appointment at a City-operated immunization clinic by contacting the following three intake partners:
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
FCJ Refugee Centre
Adam House, Matthew House, Romero House and Sojourn House will provide booking support to their clients and also help support people who call through the three intake partners, as required.
Residents without an OHIP card may use other forms of identification to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment through agency partners, including a driver’s licence, passport, piece of registered mail, pay stub or student card. Government-issued identification from other jurisdictions and countries, including a passport, driver’s licence or health card may also be used, even if they have expired. Residents without an OHIP card can also book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment through hospitals and Ontario Health Team-led clinics by visiting vaccineto.ca/.
As part of the commitment to serve all residents, personal information collected when making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is kept to the minimum as required by the provincial booking system, and does not include a home address. The safe administration of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program requires the creation of a health record that includes a person’s full name, age, gender and either a phone number or email address. Personal health information cannot be used for other purposes without the person’s consent, except as required by law in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act.
“The City has a strong, positive relationship with our community and health partners, which is why we’ve been able to administer more than 2 million vaccine doses in the city. They’ve helped ensure no one is excluded when it comes to protecting themselves and their community against COVID-19. The expansion of the number of community agencies supporting this effort is one more example of the City government doing everything it can with our partners to get everyone vaccinated.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Equity has been a driving force behind the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, meaning we’ve made a priority of removing barriers to vaccination access. Not having an OHIP card can come about for many reasons, none of which should keep a resident from getting protection from the virus, and in turn protecting their community. We appreciate the work of all community partners who’ve stepped up to improve access for all.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of Board of Health
“Through a coalition of support, community agencies are working together to ensure that everyone without OHIP, regardless of immigration status, has equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine. To protect each other is the best way to protect our communities, and we are grateful for the vision of the City of Toronto, and the leadership of all our partners, in ensuring there are supports in place to respond to the needs of all residents, so no one is left behind.”
– Francisco Rico-Martinez, Co-Director, FCJ Refugee Centre
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.