I don’t have status in Canada or a health card. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

You don’t need Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage to get a vaccine in Ontario. The Ontario government announced that people without a health card are eligible for the vaccine.

This includes people with temporary status, such as refugee claimants with Interim Federal Health coverage and international students who don’t have OHIP. It also includes people with no status.

Some clinics in Toronto have said that they’ll give vaccines regardless of a person’s immigration status.

Your eligibility for the vaccine is based on:

  • your age
  • where you live
  • the type of work you do

If you don’t have a health card, you can’t book your vaccine appointment using the provincial online booking system. You have to contact your local public health unit to help you.

Find your local public health unit by entering your postal code. There will be a phone number for you to call. You may have to try many times to get through.

The public health unit will confirm that you’re eligible for the vaccine and help you book your appointment at a clinic or pharmacy.

Go to your vaccine appointment

Some vaccine clinics will ask for your OHIP card, but you don’t need this to get the vaccination. Be prepared to be asked questions. But know that you’re eligible even if you don’t have a health card or identification.

You must give your name and date of birth to get your vaccine. To schedule your second dose, you also need to give contact information, your email, or phone number.

Some vaccine clinics may ask for information to prove your address. They need this information only if you’re eligible based on where you live.

You can prove this with:

  • a utility bill with your address
  • a driver’s licence
  • the name of a friend who can confirm where you live

If you can’t prove your age or address

The Ministry of Health has guidelines that explain when you don’t need proof or your age or address. If this applies to you, you can use what’s called a “personal statement”. Your local community legal clinic can help you prepare a sworn statement to confirm your age or your postal code.

Vaccine clinics should not share your name and address with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or Canada Border Services Agency, unless you say it’s okay.

If you’re concerned about your information being shared, there are clinics in Toronto that have said they’ll give vaccines to people regardless of their immigration status.

Getting help

If you’re told you can’t get a vaccination, contact your local community legal clinic or the Migrant Rights Network.

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine in 10 languages.

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