The City of Toronto announced today that it is partnering with FCJ Refugee Centre and Access Alliance to help people without an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card get the COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto. The City is committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for everyone. The Province of Ontario has clearly stated that if you do not have an Ontario health card at all, you are still eligible for the vaccine.
Residents without OHIP cards who meet the current vaccine eligibility criteria (www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-how-to-get-vaccinated/?accordion=vaccine-eligibility) can get assistance booking a vaccination appointment at a City-operated immunization clinic by contacting:
FCJ Refugee Centre
Toronto Public Health Hotline
Additional agencies are expected to start offering this service in the near future; updated information will be posted on www.toronto.ca/COVID19 as it becomes available.
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 license or health card may also be used, even if they are 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 e-mail 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: www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/04p03.
“COVID-19 doesn’t care if you have an OHIP card or not. This virus can infect anyone and then can be spread to anyone else they come in contact with. We are doing everything we can as a City government to get every person who lives in Toronto vaccinated. This is one more way we are ensuring that all our residents will have access to the vaccine so that we can all get vaccinated and bring this pandemic to an end.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Local agencies play an important role in supporting people in vulnerable communities across Toronto. We welcome this partnership which bolsters our commitment to ensuring access to vaccines for all Torontonians, regardless of their immigration status. Assisting residents without OHIP to book appointments is essential to a successful vaccination campaign.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Every single resident of Toronto – no matter where you live, what language you speak, or what status you have – needs access to a vaccine. To beat this pandemic, we must be all in this together. Always. These new partnerships represent one more important step towards a successful immunization campaign and the end of this pandemic”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of Board of Health
“Today’s announcement is welcome news and an important step towards an equitable process that ensures all those who want a vaccine – regardless of their immigration status – can get one. Creating a low-barrier process will help our goal of getting as many needles in arms and protect residents from COVID-19. Thank you to our agency partners as we work together to make this a reality.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“Access Alliance is pleased to be part of this initiative as it increases access and support to non-insured individuals. In these unprecedented times, we need to do all in our power to support the most vulnerable.”
– Jasmine Thibault, Director Community Programs Access Alliance
“Thanks to the City’s response to the community, no one will be left behind. Our doors are open to protect everyone – no matter your immigration status, you have free access to the vaccine. Count on us, we’re here for you.”
– 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.