Consistent with the Ontario government’s phase-2 vaccination strategy, agricultural workers, including those living in congregate settings are being prioritized for vaccination. Plans are underway to make COVID-19 vaccines available to temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in Ontario in the very near future.
Pilot vaccination projects have already occurred in Niagara and Norfolk, for example. The Ontario government has signalled that it is “exploring all options” for an effective rollout, including vaccinating workers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
As TFWs may not be as accustomed to receiving vaccinations as Canadians are, it is important to provide information about the COVID-19 vaccines in advance and that workers be given appropriate time to consider whether they will participate. Vaccination is voluntary.
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) is providing a list of resources that farm employers can use to support their workers. They are available in English, Spanish and Thai.
Start these conversations soon. While plans may not be available for vaccination timing, the chance to be offered the vaccine may happen quickly and without much notice.
If you are in contact with your workers before they depart for Canada, share these resources. It would be helpful to let them know that they may be offered a vaccine when they land at Pearson, and if so, they have the choice to accept it then. For those that may choose to not be vaccinated at the airport, it is anticipated that they will have a future opportunity should they wish. If they are not offered vaccination at the airport, having them informed early may support their acceptance of the vaccine when the opportunity becomes available to them. If the worker has not traveled yet, it may be helpful for them to consult their local health care provider to discuss vaccination.
OFVGA Resources for Agricultural Workers - Vaccine Resources
- Three resources available – Vaccine Bulletin, Vaccine Myths and Facts, Vaccine Aftercare. These are available in English, Spanish and Thai. There are short narrated videos of these resources available in English and Spanish. These resources can be downloaded from OFVGA’s COVID-19 webpage under the Vaccine Resources section, the English versions are attached for reference.
Source: Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association April 5, 2021 note to members