Ontario Extending Call to Arms to Businesses, Volunteers and Retired Health Professionals
TORONTO — As the province continues to urgently scale up its capacity to administer vaccines, the Ontario government is extending its call to arms to businesses, volunteers and retired health professionals to help further boost capacity and get more boosters into arms sooner.
“Our best defence against the highly transmissible Omicron variant is a lightning-fast offence,” said Premier Doug Ford. “In a few short weeks, Ontario has scaled up its vaccine rollout at incredible speed, but we aren’t stopping there. Everyone has a role to play. It’s all hands on deck as we boost up Ontario.”
As more mass-vax sites, hospital clinics, pharmacies and primary care clinics come online, Ontario is unleashing the full potential of the province’s businesses, workers and union leaders to support the vaccine rollout by hosting employer-led clinics. Employer-led clinics must be set up, operated and funded by employers and meet established criteria to vaccinate employees aged 18 and over, their families and retirees, as well as members of the local and neighbouring communities as capacity allows.
Businesses can call the Ontario Together Contact Centre at 1-888-777-0554 to learn more about hosting a vaccination clinic. Community groups and places of worship interested in arranging a GO-VAXX mobile bus clinic visit, can contact GOVAXX@ontario.ca.
The province is also taking action to add more boots on the ground across Ontario by launching the Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal and permitting retired health professionals to support the vaccine rollout.
The Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal recruits everyday Ontarians as volunteers to support health care providers and others at vaccination clinics across the province. The portal is open to Ontarians 16 years and older who can register to volunteer in a variety of roles based on their abilities, knowledge and experience and the needs of their local public health units.
To further ramp up capacity to support Ontario’s booster dose rollout, the Ontario government is making regulatory amendments to allow more individuals to safely administer the COVID-19 vaccine, such as retired nurses and physicians, paramedics, dentists, and firefighters. These individuals are encouraged to register through the Health Workforce Matching Portal. Supervision will be required by a physician, registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or pharmacist who is present at the premises where the vaccine is administered. Individuals who registered with the portal to help with vaccine administration earlier this year are also encouraged to join the fight against COVID-19 again by logging in to their account, updating their profile and renewing their availability to help get boosters into the arms of Ontarians.
Once identified, Ontario will work to match individuals who signed up through both the Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal and the Health Workforce Matching Portal with public health units according to local vaccination needs. To ensure safety requirements are met, education and training courses will be available to the additional vaccinators who need to build their competency to administer injections.
- On December 21, more than 230,000 vaccines were administered in Ontario, well above recent provincial capacity. The province is continuing to ramp up to administer 200,000 to 300,000 doses per day based on demand.
- As of December 21, 2021, more than two million COVID-19 booster doses have been administered in Ontario. Individuals aged 18 and over across the province are eligible to receive their booster dose three months (84 days) after their second dose, and can book their appointment through Ontario’s booking portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings.
- As of December 21, 2021, Ontario has administered more than 25 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 90 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and over having received at least one dose and more than 87 per cent having received a second dose. More than 39 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received their first dose.
“Using the Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal, we can mobilize and support the countless heroes who stepped up to help their communities, especially during the pandemic. Every volunteer can make a difference – not only to protect our province against emergencies, but also to build healthier and safer communities. We’re stronger together.”
– Parm Gill
Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism
“With the rapid expansion of booster doses to all Ontarians 18 and older, we’re getting boosters into the arms of Ontarians as fast as possible to protect our hospital capacity and limit transmission of the Omicron variant. Our province is incredibly grateful to all the dedicated health care professionals who have given so much for the past 20 months, and further increasing our capacity to give out boosters is critical in our fight against this virus.”
– Christine Elliott
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
“Ontarians have continuously stepped forward to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and we are now asking you to help in a new way as we face the dangers of the Omicron variant in our communities. We encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to join our frontline vaccination effort and help get booster doses into arms as swiftly as possible.”
– Sylvia Jones
“Ontario is strongest when we work together. As we continue to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants, we need to work together now more than ever to overcome this challenge. If your business can host a vaccine clinic, I ask that you show your true Ontario Spirit and support our efforts to get as many booster shots into the arms of Ontarians.”
– Ross Romano
Minister of Government and Consumer Services