“A historical moment”: COVID-19 vaccination at the FCJ Refugee Centre

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Toronto has expanded to refugee homes in the city, with hospital teams operating several pop-up clinics.

On Tuesday, over 50 residents and staff at the FCJ Refugee Centre received their vaccines, in a vaccination day organized by the University Health Network’s Social Medicine Program and the Women’s College Hospital’s Crossroads Clinic for Refugees.

“This is a historical moment,” said Loly Rico, Co-Director of the FCJ Refugee Centre. “It is the first day of a vaccination campaign that we believe, and we hope, that we can continue doing,” she added.

“This is a chance for the society. The idea is to open thee space for people that need to have an easy access to the vaccine,” she explained.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Co-Director Francisco Rico-Martinez.

Rico-Martinez explained that, even if the vaccine is free and available to all residents in Canada, regardless of their immigration status, “some of our residents thought they wouldn’t get the vaccine because they aren’t citizens, or because they haven’t any immigration status or health coverage.”

“Sometimes they get the impression sometimes that they don’t exist in society, and they were recognized today,” he added.

More information: Webinar: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines

Read also: ‘It’s a dream come true’ as COVID-19 vaccine rollout expands to city’s refugee homes (Toronto Star)