The government’s September 1 announcement of a vaccine-passport policy for Ontario has resulted in a 33 per cent increase in people seeking out first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — but the province’s “last mile” plan for vaccinations isn’t done. The government is setting a target of getting 90 per cent of Ontarians with both doses of a vaccine and announced new measures Tuesday to achieve that target.
As of Tuesday morning, 84.49 per cent of eligible Ontarians — people born in 2009 or earlier — had received one dose of a vaccine, and 78.2 per cent had received two doses.
In order to close the gap between target and reality, the government is adding a Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line to the existing phone number people can call to book a vaccine dose. People who want information about a vaccine can call 1-833-943-3900 to speak in confidence with health specialists. A similar service targeted at children and their families will be available soon from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
The government also provided more details about vaccine passports — spelling out exemptions to the general rules requiring proof of vaccination: for example, individuals who are entering an indoor area solely to use a washroom, pay for an order, purchase admission, or make a retail purchase will not need to prove their vaccination status.
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Businesses will be required to verify a vaccinated person’s name, date of birth, and date of second vaccination with a piece of government-issued identification.
Any business that doesn’t comply with the vaccine-passport regulations could face fines under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act.
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