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

The vaccine is available for people 6 months and older.

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

To find your local public health unit, enter 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

Be prepared for clinic staff to ask you questions. Some vaccine clinics will ask for your OHIP card but you can tell them that you don't have one. 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 like your email address or phone number.

Some vaccine clinics will ask for information to prove your address.

You can prove your address with:

  • a utility bill with your address
  • a driver's license
  • 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 of your age or address. If you don't have proof, 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.

Proof of vaccination

As of March 1, 2022, the Ontario government no longer requires businesses and organizations to ask people for proof that they are fully vaccinated. However, individual businesses and organizations may choose to require proof of vaccination upon entry.

You are considered fully vaccinated if you've received:

  • the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines, or
  • one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or
  • three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, and
  • your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before you provide proof of being fully vaccinated.

You need to show:

  • your vaccination receipt and
  • a piece of identification showing that your name and date of birth match on both documents.

1. Vaccination receipt

You must provide a copy of your vaccine receipt which should include:

  • your name,
  • date of your vaccination, and
  • type of vaccine used, for example, Pfizer or Moderna.

You can provide a paper copy of the vaccine receipt you received when you were vaccinated.

You need an Ontario Health card to access an electronic copy of your vaccination receipt through the COVID-19 vaccination portal.

If you don't have an Ontario Health card, you can call your local public health unit and they will help you get a document called a “COVID ID”. The COVID ID can only be used to get a vaccine receipt. You can't use it for anything else. To find your local public health unit, enter your postal code. In Toronto, you can also call the Toronto Public Health Hotline at 416-338-7600.

You won't get your COVID ID right away. It can take at least 8 weeks after you call TPH. After you get your COVID ID, you can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900 to ask for your vaccine receipt.

Keep in mind that many services are taking longer to answer their phones and return messages. This might include getting a busy signal, no sound after calling, or full voicemails.

If you got your vaccine at a pop-up clinic, go back to that clinic to ask for a receipt. If that clinic isn't operating anymore, call the hospital it was connected to and ask for an email copy of your vaccine receipt. If you don't know the hospital, the Toronto Public Health Hotline can help you.

2. Your identification

You can use any piece of identification that shows your date of birth and name that matches the one on your vaccination receipt, such as your driver's license, birth certificate or passport. It does not have to be government-issued ID. You can't use expired documents. Photo ID is not required.

Businesses are not supposed to keep your information.

As of October 22, 2021, you can get an enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code to prove you have been vaccinated. You must have your COVID ID to get the enhanced certificate. Follow the Ministry of Health's instructions on how to get your COVID-19 vaccine certificate.

You can go to the Ministry of Health's vaccine portal or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have the enhanced certificate mailed to you.

You don't have to get an enhanced vaccine certificate. You can continue to use the print or email proof of vaccination.

Businesses must accept both electronic and paper versions of proof of vaccine and enhanced vaccine certificates.

Getting help

If you're told you can't get a vaccination or proof that you were vaccinated, contact your local community legal clinic.  In Toronto, several agencies offer help to get proof you were vaccinated.

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

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