February 17th Update on COVID-19 Vaccination Roll Out

Dear Members,

We are writing to provide you with an update from our united Primary Care COVID-19 Vaccination Action Council (*PC-VAC). Last week’s key messages that we shared with vaccine decision-makers can be found here.

We are mindful that the news regarding vaccines is evolving daily, and we will have to continue to be prepared for changes and uncertainties in the coming months as a sector. Along with our partners in primary care, we are committed to sharing regular updates, usually weekly, except on weeks where there are no significant new developments to share.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health released updated sequencing of Phase One priority populations for vaccination which sets out the provincial direction for the vaccination program over the coming weeks.

Engaging Primary Care in Vaccine Rollout – a Practical Guide for Public Health

Key messages:

  • Public health leadership is committed to strong primary care partnerships in all phases and in all regions. These relationships are key enablers of an effective, efficient, and equitable rollout.
  • To ensure successful partnership with primary care, 1) invite primary care professionals and teams in planning and co-design, 2) involve them in feedback and rollout, and 3) inform them of local opportunities, uncertainties, and changes.
  • The enclosed partnership checklist can inform and validate existing strategies from health leaders involved in local COVID-19 vaccine planning in engaging primary care.

Collaborating with Others:

  • Over the last two weeks, the collaborative of primary care organizations met with General (retired) Rick Hillier, Chair, COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Taskforce, who emphasized the importance of an ongoing partnership with primary care provincially and locally.
  • We were pleased to see the addition of Dr. Kieran Moore, the Medical Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, join the Ontario Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. Dr. Moore is a passionate advocate for public health, and as a trained family physician he will ensure that the primary care voice is added to the conversation. PC-VAC is now meeting weekly with Dr. Moore, in addition to Dr. Isaac Bogoch, to provide updates on issues arising from the field.
  • Health and primary care leaders from throughout the country led a virtual roundtable with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. During the roundtable, the Prime Minister and other participants affirmed what we know to be true: family doctors and primary care professionals are “most knowledgeable and most trusted” and “a core part of getting everyone vaccinated.”
  • Listen to the Evan Solomon Show speak to Dr. Isaac Bogoch about the importance of family physicians and primary care providers in the COVID vaccine rollout. Leveraging the existing relationships primary care has with their patients, based in trust, will accelerate vaccination in the community.


  • As we had mentioned in our last update, the Ministry of Health has introduced an electronic central repository to input the vaccine information for individuals and manage site inventory called COVAXON. This web-based application will allow for ease in checking people in for their vaccination appointment, capture the consent and personal data information, as well as which health unit region they are in and their vaccination clinic site. While clinics will be required to submit names of the staff (along with user names and email addresses) to request access to the system, the mechanism to apply is not yet finalized however we will advise once we know the information. Please note however that once you get an email from the system, you must reply within 24 hours in order to complete the authentication process.
  • Access for primary care users will fall within phase two and three of the vaccine rollout and training webinars will be available prior to the on-boarding schedule to ensure that everyone is prepared. While it likely won't be fully integrated into your EMR, we understand COVAXON system will be able to send reports of your vaccinated patients to your EMR.  
  • More on COVAXON will be shared when it becomes available.

New Resources:

Reminder of resources from previous weeks

We look forward to continually updating you on the provincial vaccination strategy. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or ideas.

Yours in good health,

The AFHTO Team

*Ontario Primary Care COVID-19 Vaccination Action Council:

  • Alliance for Healthier Communities
  • Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
  • Indigenous Primary Health Care Council
  • Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Association/Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario
  • Ontario College of Family Physicians
  • Ontario Medical Association Section on General and Family Practice
  • Ontario’s Academic Chairs of Family Medicine