Book an appointment for the updated COVID-19 vaccine at TPH-fixed site vaccination clinics using the Province’s registration system or by calling or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Vaccines are also available at pharmacies and some family doctors, please call ahead to confirm supply.



Get your yearly flu vaccine and updated COVID-19 vaccine, as soon as you are eligible, to protect you and your loved ones this respiratory season.


It is important for everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations for the best protection against getting very sick, especially those with weaker immune systems. Everyone six months of age and older can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the flu vaccine and most other vaccines (except for the RSV and MPOX vaccines).

The National Advisory on Immunization (NACI) and Ontario Ministry of Health recommends a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. The updated COVID-19 vaccines target the XBB strain of the Omicron variant to boost protection against severe COVID-19 and may be better against variants that are currently spreading around the city.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system to make antibodies that protect us from the COVID-19 virus. Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination, including any booster dose(s) when eligible, will reduce the risk of getting, spreading, and becoming seriously sick with COVID-19. It can also help lower the risk of long COVID. None of the vaccines contain COVID-19 and cannot give you the virus.

The vaccine is given using a needle in your upper arm. It takes at least two weeks after getting a vaccine dose to be protected. Boosters give the best protection for anyone six months of age and older.

The vaccine is safe to get at the same time as most other vaccines (except for the RSV and MPOX vaccines).

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Spikevax vaccines are ‘messenger RNA’ or ‘mRNA’ vaccines. This means they use mRNA to give our cells instructions to make antibodies. The mRNA does not change our DNA. mRNA vaccines are interchangeable which means that they are very similar and either vaccine can be used.

Learn more about how the mRNA vaccines work.

Health Canada has approved the following mRNA vaccines :

Based on recent clinical trials with the updated Moderna vaccine:

  • People showed a stronger immune response against the currently circulating XBB strain and other Omicron variants.
  • Adverse events following vaccination were similar or lower compared to the original Moderna vaccine.
  • There were no reports of vaccine-related cases of myocarditis, pericarditis or deaths.

Based on the updated Pfizer vaccine approval:

  • Safety and immune response is similar to the Pfizer original and bivalent vaccines.

NACI and Public Health Ontario will continue to closely monitor any potential adverse effects.

For eligibility information, visit our Vaccines Eligibility & Doses page.

Myocarditis and Pericarditis

Myocarditis and pericarditis are types of inflammation in different parts of the heart. In Canada, there have been rare reports of myocarditis/pericarditis after getting a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. The situation is being closely monitored.

Most people who have gotten myocarditis/pericarditis after vaccination had a mild illness and symptoms went away without any concerns about long-term complications. Getting a COVID-19 infection puts you at more serious risk of myocarditis/pericarditis. For this reason, vaccination is still recommended as the benefits outweigh the risks.

The risk of myocarditis/pericarditis after a booster  dose is lower compared to the second dose in the primary series. Current data does not show a difference in myocarditis/pericarditis risk between Moderna and Pfizer after a booster dose in adults.

See Myocarditis and Pericarditis After Covid-19 Vaccines for more information.

Potential Side Effects and Seeking Medical Attention

Most vaccine side effects are mild and last for 1-3 days.

Severe side effects are rare. Get medical attention right away if you develop any of these symptoms after getting a vaccine:

  • Chest pain/feelings of pressure or tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations/irregular heartbeat

More Information

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) strongly recommends mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) for all eligible age groups because they are safer and more effective.

Novavax is a ‘protein subunit’ vaccine that targets the (original monovalent) COVID-19 strain. It uses small pieces of a protein that look like the spikes on the COVID-19 virus. These proteins teach our immune system to make antibodies that recognize and fight COVID-19.

An updated Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is expected later this fall.

The Novavax Nuvaxovid vaccine (also known as Novavax) is approved for people who are unable (due to allergy) or unwilling to get a mRNA vaccine:

  • People aged 12 years and over, who have not been vaccinated in the past, should complete a two dose series
  • People aged 18 years and over who have been vaccinated in the past should get one dose

Novavax can be used to complete a vaccination series, even if the previous vaccine was a different type (e.g. one dose of another COVID-19 vaccine and one dose of Novavax). It takes two weeks after vaccination for protection. Some people may have mild to moderate side effects from this vaccine that may last one to three days. Common side effects include redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, mild fever, headache, feeling tired, muscle aches, joint pain, nausea and/or vomiting. Contact your health provider if side effects do not go away after three days.

Myocarditis and pericarditis are types of inflammation in different parts of the heart that can occur after getting COVID-19 and be serious. This has rarely occurred after getting Novavax and is being closely monitored. Get medical attention if you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, or racing heartbeat after vaccination.

People with a serious allergy to another COVID-19 vaccine or polyethylene glycol (PEG) can consider getting Novavax.

The Novavax vaccine is available at all TPH fixed-site vaccination clinics through appointment only.

The AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are ‘viral vector’ vaccines. They use a modified cold virus (adenovirus) to give our cells instructions to make antibodies. The cold virus in the vaccine is inactive and will not give you a cold.

The viral vector vaccines approved in Canada are:

  • The AstraZeneca vaccine (also known as Vaxzeria or previously known as COVISHIELD) was authorized for use by Health Canada on February 26, 2021, for adults aged 18 and over. It is currently not available in Canada.
    • Effective May 11, 2021, the Government of Ontario  paused the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and is not currently available in Canada.
  • The Janssen vaccine (also known as Johnson & Johnson) was authorized for use by Health Canada on March 5, 2021 for adults aged 18 and over.
    • Janssen Inc. has submitted a voluntary recall to Health Canada for the JCOVDEN (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine and state that the decision to withdraw this product from use in Canada is a business decision and is NOT the result of any health or safety concerns related to the vaccine.
    • As of June 28, 2023, Janssen COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be available based on the recommendation of the Ontario Ministry of Health.

An AEFI is any time you feel unwell more than what you were told to expect after receiving a vaccine. If you think you are experiencing an AEFI, contact your health care provider and let them know you feel unwell and recently received a vaccine.

AEFIs are reported by your health care provider to Toronto Public Health (TPH), who helps your provider investigate if your illness was caused by the vaccination. TPH reports AEFIs to the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to make sure that vaccines are as safe as possible, even after they are approved. Companies that produce vaccines do not help with investigations of AEFIs, but they are aware of reports for the safety of their products.

More information: Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP).

The vaccine contains an active ingredient that gives our body instructions to make antibodies. Other vaccine ingredients include lipids (fats), salts, sugars and buffers.

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain eggs, gelatin (pork), gluten, latex, preservatives, antibiotics or aluminum.

People with severe allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients should speak with their physician/allergist about getting the vaccine. Some people with allergies to an ingredient can still be safely vaccinated.

If you get a serious reaction after your first dose, talk to your health care provider about future vaccinations. Sometimes you can still be safely vaccinated, or can received a different vaccine.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is in the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, including the bivalent boosters. PEG can also be found in laxatives, makeup, skin care products, personal lubricants, toothpastes, and some contact lenses. It is also in cough syrup, over-the-counter medications, and in some food and drinks.

Tromethamine is in the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccine, including bivalent boosters. It helps to make the vaccine stable. Tromethamine can be found in dyes used for CT or MRI scans, medications, cosmetics, perfumes and skin creams.

Polysorbate-80 is in the Novavax (NUVAXOVID) vaccine. It is used to hold (or bind) the vaccine ingredients together. Polysorbate-80 can be found in most processed food, sauces, condiments, soups, ice cream, chewing gum, soaps, creams, bath gels, shampoo, body butter, cosmetics, vitamins, heart medication and contraceptives (birth control).

Ingredients in current vaccines available:

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (including pediatric and bivalent)

  • active ingredient: mRNA
  • lipids, cholesterol, polyethylene glycol [PEG]
  • buffers: tromethamin, tromethamin hydrochloride
  • salts: sodium chloride
  • sugars: sucrose

Moderna Spikevax vaccine (including pediatric and bivalent)

  • active ingredient: mRNA
  • lipids, cholesterol, polyethylene glycol [PEG]
  • buffers: tromethamin, tromethamin hydrochloride
  • salts: acetic acid, sodium acetate
  • sugars: sucrose

Novavax (NUVAXOVID) vaccine

  • active ingredient: recombinant spike protein with Matrix-M adjuvant
  • non-medical ingredients: disodium hydrogen phosphate heptahydrate, hydrochloric acid (for adjustment of pH), polysorbate 80, sodium chloride, sodium dihydrogen phosphate monohydrate, sodium hydroxide (for adjustment of pH), water for injection
  • for adjuvant: cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, potassium chloride, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, sodium chloride

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada , the Ontario Ministry of Health  and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization   (NACI) strongly recommend staying up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines when planning a pregnancy, while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Getting COVID-19 while you are pregnant puts you at higher risk of getting very sick and being hospitalized. Preventing COVID-19 is even more important when you are pregnant – follow public health measures to lower your risk.

Vaccine Safety

  • Hundreds of thousands of people who are pregnant have been safely vaccinated
  • Several studies with large numbers of pregnant people have shown that vaccination before and/or at any time during pregnancy or breastfeeding is safe for you and your baby
  • There is no scientific evidence that the vaccine affects fertility (ability to get pregnant) including no effect on egg or sperm
  • Data shows that vaccination does not increase the risk of:
    • miscarriage, premature birth, or high blood pressure
    • birth defects or stillbirth
  • There have been no safety concerns shown in people who received a vaccine and are breastfeeding or any impacts of vaccinations on the baby/child being breastfed
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to monitor people who are pregnant and have been vaccinated to make sure the vaccines are as safe as possible

Benefits of Vaccination

  • Staying up-to-date  with your COVID-19 vaccines, including getting the updated COVID-19 dose, can protect you from getting very sick or being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and will provide stronger and longer protection for your baby
  • It’s recommended that all people (including those who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or breastfeeding) get the updated COVID-19 vaccine this Fall 2023 as soon as they are able
    • Pregnant people are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 and it is very important that they get a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine
  • Getting your COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy may have the following benefits to your baby:
    • Lowers risk of preterm birth and having a low birth weight
    • Lowers risk of ending up in the NICU
    • Lowers risk of stillbirth
    • You will make antibodies from the vaccine, which will pass to your growing baby, which can help provide immunity in your baby’s first 6 months of life when they are most vulnerable, until they become eligible for the vaccine

 Vaccinations while Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding has many benefits for you and your baby, including protecting your baby against infections and many illnesses
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and recommended while breastfeeding
  • There is no need to avoid starting breastfeeding or to stop breastfeeding to receive the vaccine
  • It does not disrupt your breastfeeding or have any negative effects on your baby
  • Some studies have shown that antibodies were found in the breast milk of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine, which may protect their baby (under six months old)  against a COVID-19 infection

When is the best time to get the vaccine if planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • The best time to get vaccinated is as soon as you are eligible
  • It is strongly recommended to complete your COVID-19 vaccine series and stay up-to-date (including the updated COVID-19 dose when eligible during or after pregnancy, including while breastfeeding)
  • COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time, before or after other vaccines recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended even if you already had a COVID-19 infection

Learn more about previous COVID-19 infection.

Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about getting vaccinated and to understand the benefits of getting the vaccine compared to the risks of getting the COVID-19 infection. For most people, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the safest choice.

See COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated to find a vaccine clinic near you.

For more information:

There is no evidence the vaccines impact fertility, menstrual irregularities, puberty, or normal growth and development.

The main ingredient in the vaccine is mRNA and that lasts in your body for a few days before it is removed from the body. The body develops an immune response in the first few weeks after vaccination. Some may have a temporary change in their menstrual cycle because of this immune response. A menstrual cycle can also temporarily change from everyday life including stress, changes in weight and exercise. The World Health Organization recommends not delaying vaccination if menstruating.

A COVID-19 infection can also affect menstruation. For example, in one study, one out of five patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection had temporary changes in the length of their cycle and the amount of bleeding.

References: (BMJ). (Li et al., 2021)

People with stable health conditions can get vaccinated. Conditions include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory diseases, including asthma or COPD, hepatitis B, C and HIV.

People with a weak immune system because of illness, treatment or an autoimmune condition:

  • can get the vaccine safely;
  • should speak to a health care provider before getting vaccinated; and
  • may have lower protection from the vaccine.

See our COVID-19: Vaccine Resources page