Vaccinated outside of the province? Toronto Public Health has a new process to recognize your shots, or get you a second dose

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Attention all Snowbirds, international students, newcomers, and millennials who moved back with their parents in another province during the pandemic.

Toronto Public Health has developed a system for registering COVID-19 vaccine doses administered outside of Ontario.

Announced Monday, it allows people who got both doses in other places to record them, so that they will be reflected in official records.

Dr. Vinita Dubey, associate medical officer of health, said in an email that this information will be fed into the provincial COVax vaccine management system.

“By creating this record we can also help residents of Toronto to get dose two of their vaccinations when eligible,” she said.

Individuals need to provide proof of vaccination in the form of documents such as an immunization record or a proof of vaccination certificate.

According to provincial guidance, vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization will be accepted.

Some people got shots within the province, but from what’s called “non-Ontario stock,” at sites such as correctional facilities, military sites or embassies, according to Toronto Public Health’s website. Those individuals can also register their vaccine doses through the site.

These records will now be counted into official tallies of vaccinated Toronto residents.

Snowbird Dawn McLean, who was fully vaccinated in the United States, is glad to see that public health units are starting to recognize people, like herself, who got shots outside of Ontario.

A resident of Durham Region, she was able to register her vaccine through the health unit there.

But not all health units, for example, Halton, have developed protocols around this yet.

Thousands of snowbirds went south for their vaccines, McLean notes, as the U.S. was ahead of Canada in the rollout.

But not all of them have been counted in official figures of the percentage of Ontario adults who are fully vaccinated, a figure closely tied to official reopening plans.

“That’s a large number that’s not being accounted for in the statistics,” she said.

In Peel Region, according to spokesperson Trish Krale, if you got your first dose outside the province and want to book a second one, you can call the vaccine hotline at 905-791-5202.

When you arrive at the appointment, bring proof of vaccination, and staff will review it and put it into the system.