This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of:

Richard L, Liu M, Jenkinson J, Nisenbaum R, Brown M, Pedersen C, Hwang S. COVID-19 vaccine coverage and sociodemographic, behavioural and housing factors associated with vaccination among people experiencing homelessness in Toronto, Canada: A cross-sectional study. Vaccines. 3 August 2022. doi:

The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.

A manuscript from a CITF-funded study, published in Vaccines, CITF-funded researcher Dr. Stephen Hwang (MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto) and colleagues found that vaccine uptake among people experiencing homelessness in Toronto was high, with 80.4% of the 736 study participants having received at least one dose by summer 2021, and 63.6% having received two or more doses.

Key findings:

  • Older individuals (vaccinated mean age of 48 versus an unvaccinated mean age of 39 years) are more likely to have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Of those individuals vaccinated, 89.2% masked frequently in public places and 78.9% of unvaccinated individuals masked frequently in public places.
  • People experiencing homelessness in Toronto had a high first-dose coverage – similar to the general adult population during the study period. Whereas 80.4% of participants experiencing homelessness had a first dose at the interview sometime in September 2021, the vaccination rate among general population adults in Toronto was 74.8% by June 2021 and 84.3% by September 2021.

Because individuals experiencing homelessness had high vaccine uptake, the study suggests that advocacy and outreach efforts prioritizing this population may have been effective.

Surveys, saliva and blood samples were collected from individuals ages 16 years of age and older recruited by random selection from 62 shelters, hotels and encampment sites across Toronto between June 16 to September 9, 2021. These participants were from the CITF-funded Ku-gaa-gii pimitizi-win cohort study (formerly known as the COVENANT study).