The City of Toronto has added new features to its “VaxTO” campaign text line, which launched last week to help connect Toronto residents with COVID-19 vaccination appointments and information.
Starting today, residents who text “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888 will be able to choose to receive COVID-19 booking information in any of the following 14 languages: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu, Spanish, Portuguese, Farsi, Korean, Italian, French, Bengali, Vietnamese and Gujarati. These options represent the top 10 home languages in Toronto, with additional languages selected as frequently spoken within Sprint prioritized postal code areas.
In addition, residents using the text line will now have the option of entering their postal code to receive a list of City-run clinics and pharmacies offering vaccinations nearest to them, complete with addresses and phone numbers to make connecting to appointments even easier for Torontonians.
Since its launch, the VaxTO campaign has linked close to 6,200 Toronto residents directly to the provincial booking line and the text line has received more than 4,000 texts to the text line from residents looking to access a variety of resources including appointments, general information, and details on upcoming telephone town halls. More than 57,500 people listened in to the first citywide VaxTO town hall with Mayor John Tory, Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief Matthew Pegg held last Wednesday.
As the VaxTO campaign continues to roll out, more targeted emails, voice broadcasts, multilingual social media advertising and telephone town halls will help provide Toronto residents with up-to-date information about when and how they can be vaccinated.
“We are excited to introduce these new features to the VaxTO text line, making it easier for residents to access the information they need in the language they are most comfortable with and to find the locations offering vaccinations that are most convenient to them. This is just one more way the City is working to break down barriers to vaccination and provide extra support to those who require it. I continue to urge all Toronto residents to get vaccinated and to make sure they get their second dose as soon as they are eligible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“We are committed to breaking down every possible barrier to vaccination. That means connecting with Torontonians in the languages that they speak, and providing clear and accessible information about immunization opportunities. The VaxTO campaign and its text line complement our work through the Sprint Strategy and with our Vaccine Engagement Teams doing on-the-ground outreach across our city. Each of these initiatives is about meeting people where they are at, and ensuring they have the information and supports they need to protect themselves and their community from COVID-19.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board 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.