Thursday May 13th, 2021
Hon. Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park.
Hon. Christine Elliot
Minister of Health
College Park 5th Floor
|Dr. Brown & Dr. Schwartz
Co-Chairs Ontario COVID-19 Science Table
155 College St.
Re: Vaccine Pre-Registration & Proactive Rollout Plan for Ontario’s Children
Dear Premier Ford, Minister Elliot, Dr. Brown and Dr. Schwartz,
As you are aware, Health Canada recently authorized administering the Pfzier-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to those 12 years of age and older. This is a significant step taken towards the possibility of resuming in-person learning for the next school year and contribute toward protecting us all.
The process to obtain a vaccine has required significant legwork and research on the part of individuals leading to added stress at an already difficult time. Those that do not have the time or resources to put into finding a vaccine appointment continue to be at a significant disadvantage in obtaining immunity from COVID-19.
That is why we recommend the province offer a specific category on their call-in and online booking systems that gives parents and guardians in Ontario an opportunity to pre-register their children for the vaccine. We suggest that their children’s date of birth and postal code, and parent’s and guardian’s email address and/or phone number be required to put their name in the queue. Parents and guardians would then receive an acknowledgment that their children are now on the list. Once eligible, parents and guardians could receive an email and/or text message outlining the next steps on how to officially book their children’s vaccine appointment and applicable location(s).
This proposed option will reduce stress amongst families, provide them with much needed surety and predictability, and help promote greater equity for vaccine obtainment amongst children. Pre-registration would also provide the province with helpful data on how many parents and guardians in Ontario are interested in having their children receive the vaccine, and assist with management of vaccine supply, while also identifying areas where more outreach is necessary due to vaccine hesitancy. Building vaccine confidence amongst parents and guardians in such areas would be supported by local school boards leveraging their student lists in order to connect families with community vaccine ambassadors and local public health units.
Moreover, your government should use this pre-registration list to develop a proactive rollout plan for local public health units and school boards by utilizing all existing resources available such as school vaccine programs, family doctors, and other viable options. In addition, this pre-registration list could be used as a stand-by list in the event that local pop up clinics experience lull periods. Through the development of a cohesive and streamlined rollout, including a pre-registration option, Ontario will have a better shot at ensuring our children are vaccinated.
Toronto – St. Paul’s