Last updated: April 17, 2021 at 10:50 a.m.

Residents who are eligible can book an appointment at immunization clinics in Toronto using the Province’s vaccination registration system (note browser requirements) or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Find a clinic location.

Residents aged 50+ (born in 1971 or earlier) and living in hot spot postal codes can now book appointments at City immunization clinics. Learn who is currently eligible to book at City immunization clinics and at hospital immunization clinics or pharmacies.

While vaccination is not mandatory, everyone is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. Join your family and friends and plan to get vaccinated once vaccines become available to you. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

Total Vaccine Doses Delivered in Toronto

  • 868,754
  • as of April 16 at 3 p.m.
  • +20,822 since April 15

COVID-19 vaccines tell our body to make antibodies that protect us from COVID-19.  The antibodies protect us from getting sick with COVID-19, as well as from getting and spreading the virus.

Health Canada has approved four vaccines. These vaccines do not have the COVID-19 virus in them and cannot give us COVID-19

 

After getting your vaccine please:

  • Keep the paper or electronic vaccination record you get from the clinic
    • If you were vaccinated at a City immunization clinic and did not receive your vaccination record, please call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007)
    • If you were vaccinated at a pharmacy and did not receive your vaccination record, please call the pharmacy
  • Tell your health care provider that you got vaccinated
  • Speak to your health care provider if you have any serious reactions, especially if they lasts longer than 3 days
  • Check your email or cell phone for your second vaccine appointment

Continue with public health measures

Until most people are vaccinated (herd immunity), you still need to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Keep your distance from others you do not live with
  • Wash your hands often
  • Stay home when you are sick

Health care workers and staff must still wear personal protective equipment (PPE), even after they get their vaccine. Learn more about how to reduce virus spread.

Three Health Canada approved vaccines require two doses. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine only needs one dose.

It takes 2 weeks after getting vaccinated to be protected. One vaccine dose is effective against getting seriously sick. Protection is 80% after the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Protection is 90% after the second dose. Your protection will not suddenly go down. Extending the time between doses means that more people can get the vaccine so we can save more lives.

Like all medicine, some people may have side effects from the vaccine. If these side effects happen they usually last for 1 to 3 days.

Common side effects:

  • sore arm
  • headache
  • feeling tired
  • muscle or joint pain
  • fever
  • chills
  • feeling like you are going to vomit (nausea) and/or vomiting

Some side effects are more common after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Learn more about rare side effects with the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.

After your vaccine please stay at the clinic for 15 minutes. You will be monitored for any reactions. In very rare cases, serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can occur. Allergic reactions can be treated and are usually temporary. Get medical attention if you get allergic reactions such as hives, itching, swelling of the face and throat, and/or trouble breathing.

 

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 allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients should not get the vaccine. If you get a serious reaction after your first dose, do not get the second dose. Talk to your health care provider if you are unsure about which ingredients you are allergic to.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 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 Moderna vaccine. 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 AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines. 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).

Vaccine Ingredients

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

  • active ingredient: messenger RNA (mRNA)
  • lipids, cholesterol, polyethylene glycol [PEG]
  • salts: potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate
  • sugars: sucrose

Moderna vaccine

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

AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine

  • active ingredient: adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1-S recombinant)
  • amino acid: L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate
  • emulsifier: polysorbate 80
  • salts: sodium chloride, disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), magnesium chloride hexahydrate
  • sugars: sucrose
  • alcohol: ethanol

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine

  • active ingredient: adenovirus vector (Ad26.COV2.S recombinant)
  • buffers/ acidity regulators: citric acid monohydrate, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, trisodium citrate dehydrate
  • alcohol: ethanol
  • emulsifier: 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, polysorbate-80
  • salts: sodium chloride

The Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada recommends vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding people as long as they don’t have any medical conditions that prevent them from getting the vaccine. Speak with your doctor or midwife for more information.

New COVID-19 variants can spread more easily and make people sicker. Vaccines can protect against these variants and reduce your risk of severe illness while pregnant. Getting COVID-19 while pregnant may lead to an early (pre-term) birth.

People who are planning to get pregnant should wait for a month after getting the vaccine.

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 their health care provider before getting vaccinated; and
  • may have lower protection from the vaccine.

People taking medication that make their immune system weak may be able to schedule their vaccine and treatment to get the best protection.

People who have had COVID-19 in the past should still get vaccinated. Natural immunity from having COVID-19 may not last long and may not protect against COVID-19 variants. Get vaccinated to stay protected.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, should not go to a vaccine clinic. Please wait at least 10 days until you are no longer in self-isolation or your symptoms have gone away.

Name

Technology

Recommended for

Dose schedule

Availability

Pfizer BioNTech mRNA 16 years + 2 doses Available
Moderna mRNA 18 years + 2 doses Available
AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD Viral vector 55 years + 2 doses Available
Janssen Viral vector 18 years + 1 dose Not yet available
  • Health Canada updated information about the AstraZeneca vaccine (also known as COVISHIELD).
  • After vaccination with AstraZeneca there have been very rare reports of blood clots (thrombosis) and low blood platelet counts (blood cells that help the body stop bleeding).
  • These rare reports were mostly in women under the age of 55.
  • The vaccine is still recommended for adults 55 years of age and older because the benefit is much greater than the possible risk.
  • Look out for side effects up to 3 weeks after getting the vaccine. Most side effects are mild and last for 1 to 3 days. Some side effects can happen 4 to 16 days after vaccination.
  • Get medical care right away if you develop any of these symptoms after getting the vaccine:
    • Difficulty breathing, chest pain, leg swelling or ongoing pain in the abdominal (stomach) area;
    • Neurological symptoms such as severe or worsening headaches or blurred vision that happens all of a sudden;
    • Skin bruising or spots (other than where you got the vaccine).
  • Health Canada will keep monitoring these rare side effects, and will provide updates or take other actions as needed.

More information