Authorities investigate possible security breach linked to province’s COVID-19 vaccine portal

Premier says he was alerted at the weekend

A possible security breach linked to the province’s COVID-19 vaccine portal.

A spokesperson for the Solicitor General has confirmed the government has received a number of reports of individuals who scheduled appointments or accessed vaccine certificates receiving spam text messages.

In a statement, Marion Ringuette said the texts are financial in nature.

“The government takes allegations of fraud very seriously and is aggressively investigating these reports with our partner ministries, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and others,” Ringuette said.

During a visit to Orillia on Monday, Premier Doug Ford said he was briefed about the investigation at the weekend.

“I’ve had a conversation with my chief of staff, principal secretary and secretary of cabinet and they have all hands on deck on all our ministry especially or Ministry of Health, and I’m confident with the group that we have down there,” Ford told reporters.

News of this possible security breach came on the same day the Ontario government announced COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children aged 5 to 11 can be booked as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, and the online government portal is one option that parents can use to schedule their kids for a jab.