Last updated: September 23, 2022 at 9:56 a.m.

Book a COVID-19 vaccine at a City-run or hospital immunization clinic using the Province’s registration system or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Vaccines are also available at pop-up clinics, pharmacies and some family doctors.

 

The Moderna Spikevax Bivalent booster vaccine is now available. Eligible individuals may get the bivalent COVID-19 booster at least 3 months (84 days) since their last dose or COVID-19 infection. Book an appointment at a City-run or hospital clinic either online or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

 

In Toronto, COVID-19 continues to spread in our community and Omicron BA.5 has been the main variant in the recent 7th wave. Each fall COVID-19 activity increases as the weather gets colder and we move indoors. It is expected that COVID-19 activity will increase this fall with other respiratory viruses.

You can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to:

Vaccines enhance the body’s natural ability to fight infections and may protect you against long COVID. If you recently had a COVID-19 infection, getting vaccinated gives hybrid immunity for stronger and longer lasting protection.

Staying up-to-date includes getting a fall booster dose for the best protection and to lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death for you, your family and community. What is considered up to date may change over time and by age.

Primary series: An initial vaccine series is considered to be the number of vaccine doses needed to develop a strong initial immune response. This is typically a 2 or 3 dose series with an mRNA vaccine. The original (monovalent) vaccines should be given for all primary series vaccinations.

It is recommended to consult with your health care provider before getting vaccinated to review the benefits and risks for your unique situation, if you:

  • are on medications that weaken your immune system – you may want to time your vaccination with your medications
  • had an allergic reaction within four hours after receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine dose
  • have severe allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients

Residents who are unable to leave their home due to medical reasons may be eligible for in-home vaccination.

Residents experiencing homelessness staying in shelters can get vaccinated through mobile teams organized by Ontario Health Teams and Toronto Public Health.

Everyone aged 6 months and older is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Children must be at least 6 months old at the time of vaccination. Learn more about vaccinations for children and youth.

For most people, the original (monovalent) mRNA, Pfizer BioNTech (including the Pediatric vaccine) and Moderna , COVID-19 vaccines are the best vaccine choice because of the strong immune protection they provide against severe illness and hospitalization, and their well-known safety profiles. The pediatric Moderna vaccine is currently the only vaccine approved for children aged 6 months to under 5 years old. The Pfizer vaccine is strongly recommended for 5-29  year olds. See messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for more information.

Children/youth, 17 years of age or younger, should talk about the benefits and risks of getting the vaccine with a parent or trusted adult. This includes understanding information about the vaccine, why it is being recommended and what will happen if they accept or refuse vaccination. Parents or legal guardians of younger children will usually have to provide consent on behalf of the child before or at the time of the appointment.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is available as an option for people 18 years of age and older, who have not been able, due to contraindications, or not willing to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn more about the vaccinesvaccine use by age and where to get vaccinated.

Everyone ages 6 months and older is strongly encouraged to get their second dose as soon as they are eligible to ensure they stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations. The original (monovalent) vaccines will be given for all second doses.

The Pfizer-BioNTech (including the Pediatric vaccine), Moderna Spikevax, Novavax Nuvaxovid and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines require two doses.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is an option for people 18 years of age and older, who have not been able, due to contraindications, or not willing to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The Novavax vaccine can be used to complete a primary series that was started using a viral vector vaccine.

Interval between first and second doses

To further improve protection and effectiveness of the vaccine, the National Advisory on Immunization (NACI) and the Ministry of Ontario has recommended 8 weeks as the optimal interval between the first and second dose. Evidence will continue to be monitored and information will be updated as needed.

  • An 8 week interval is recommended because it allows for a stronger immune response to the second dose, and it is associated with a lower rate of side effects.
  • Data suggeststhat protection can be improved when the interval between the first and second doses are extended beyond the original manufacturer’s recommended interval (e.g., 21 days between 1st and 2nd dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine).
  • This interval appears to provide optimal protection, while minimizing the time at risk of infection due to having protection from only one dose.
  • Two doses at eight weeks apart, including any booster(s) when eligible, continues to protect adults and children from severe illness ensuring a strong immune response against variants, such as Omicron, and any future variants.
  • Individuals may choose to speak with their primary care provider about what interval is best for them. The authorized interval may still be used.
  • Interruption of a vaccine series resulting in a greater interval between doses than recommended does not require re-starting the series.

Learn more about the administration of the COVID-19 vaccineabout the vaccinesvaccine use by age, and where to get vaccinated.

Some people who have weakened immune systems may have a lower antibody response to the two-dose series due to their underlying condition(s). Getting three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as part of your first COVID-19 vaccine series, is recommended for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised to help build antibodies and for better long-term protection.

It is important to speak with your doctor or specialist about the timing for you to have the best possible immune response from the vaccine and minimize delays in your treatment and advise the health care provider giving you the vaccination that you are immunocompromised.

A third dose of the original (monovalent) vaccine can be given at a minimum of two months (56 days) after the second dose.

  • For children ages 5-11, the pediatric PfizerBioNTech (10mcg) vaccine should be given.
  • Ages 12-29 year olds, Pfizer BioNTech (30 mcg) is recommended and preferred. With informed consent, adults 18-29 years may receive a full dose of Moderna (100mcg).
  • Ages 30 and older, a full dose of Moderna (100 mcg) or PfizerBioNTech (30 mcg) should be given.

It is recommended that all individuals ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 booster dose. Adults can receive the bivalent vaccine regardless of the number of booster doses previously received. A booster dose can be given at least 3 to 6 months from the last COVID-19 dose or infection, based on age and eligibility.

A COVID-19 booster is a vaccine dose given after you have completed the primary vaccine series. It helps improve protection against COVID-19 that may have decreased over time and boosts the immune response even if you had a COVID-19 infection in the past. Health Canada authorized mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Spikevax) as booster doses, regardless of which vaccine was used for your primary series.

The interval between the doses depends on the vaccine you receive, your age, your health status and if you recently had a COVID-19 infection. Public Health Agency of Canada and NACI continues to monitor evidence and information will be updated if subsequent doses are required. With informed consent, all COVID-19 vaccines can be given with or at any time before or after non-COVID-19 vaccines.

According to NACI and the Ontario Ministry of Health, a booster dose of Novavax Nuvaxovid (0.5mL) may be offered with informed consent, to people without contraindications who are not able or willing to receive an mRNA vaccine.

Bivalent Booster Dose Eligibility

On September 1, 2022, the first bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was authorized by Health Canada. Clinical trials showed that the immune response from the bivalent vaccine provides protection against the Omicron BA.5 variant. It is recommended that everyone 18+ be offered this vaccine as a booster dose. For youth 12-17 years of age who are immunocompromised and/or at higher risk from severe outcomes of COVID-19, this bivalent vaccine may be offered as a booster dose, with informed consent.

Eligible people are recommended to receive a booster vaccine 6 months after a previous COVID-19 dose or infection. Since COVID-19 activity and other respiratory viruses are expected to increase as the weather gets colder, a bivalent booster can be given at a shorter interval of at least 3 months (84 days).

As of Monday, September 12, 2022 the following eligible populations will be able to receive the bivalent version of the Moderna Spikevax (50mcg) COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and adults living in other congregate settings
  • People aged 70 years and over
  • Immunocompromised individuals (aged 12 years and older)
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household members (aged 18 years and older)
  • Pregnant Individuals (aged 18 years and older)
  • Healthcare Providers (aged 18 years and older)

On Monday, September 26, 2022, the eligibility criteria will expand to everyone aged 18 years and older.

Book an appointment to receive the bivalent version of the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine at our City-run clinics. Please note that this vaccine is only authorized for use as a booster dose. The original (monovalent) vaccines are to be used for all primary series vaccinations because they provide a strong initial immune response.

Note: People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may use this referral form or letter from your physician, to identify optimal timing for vaccination.

More Information:

Name Type Age group Primary Series Dose schedule Vaccine dosage

 

Availability
Pfizer BioNTech mRNA 12 years + 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series and booster:
Full Dose (30 mcg)
Available
Pediatric Pfizer BioNTech mRNA 5-11 years 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series:
Full Dose (10 mcg)Booster:
Full Dose (10 mcg)
Available
Moderna Spikevax mRNA 6 years + 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series:

  • 6-11 years old – Half dose (50mcg)
  • 12 and older – Full dose (100 mcg)

Booster, if eligible:
Monovalent (original) vaccine:

  • Half dose (50 mcg) for general population
  • Full dose (100 mcg) for specific populations* and people aged 70 years+

Bivalent vaccine:
Full dose (50 mcg)

Available
Pediatric Moderna Spikevax (25 mcg) mRNA 6 month to 11 years old 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary Series:

  • 6 months – 5 years old: 25 mcg
  • 6 – 11 year olds: 50 mcg
Available
Novavax (Nuvaxovid) Protein subunit 18 years + 2 doses, 8 weeks apart Primary series:
Full dose (0.5 mL)Booster:
Only with informed consent, full dose (0.5 mL)
Appointment/Referral only
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)* Viral vector 18 years + 1 dose Primary series:
Full dose (0.5 mL)
Referral only.

* Moderate to severely immunocompromised populations (if 5 years of age and over) and residents (65+) of long-term care homes, retirement homes, elder care lodges and other senior congregate settings are eligible for a three dose primary series plus a booster (if 5 years of age and over) ** Referral is required from an allergist/immunologist or another specialist where a confirmed allergy exists to components of the mRNA vaccines or there are concerns in accessing an mRNA vaccine.

Re-vaccination is recommended with a new COVID-19 vaccine primary series (3 doses) and booster given the loss of immunity following:

  • hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT)
  • hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) (autologous or allogeneic)
  • CAR-T-cell therapy

Optimal timing should be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your clinical team.

Please bring your referral form/letter to EACH of your vaccination appointments, highlighting this is to restart your primary series.

Everyone aged 6 months and older, without OHIP cards, may get vaccinated at any clinic or pharmacy clinic offering COVID-19 vaccines. Appointments for City immunization clinics must be made through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Required Identification

For all clinics, bring an acceptable form of identification which may include non-Canadian and expired documents such as a driver’s licence or passport, a piece of mail with your name on it, a pay stub or a student card. Those 18 or older must provide photo ID.

Vaccines Authorized by Health Canada

  • If you received one dose of a two dose series outside Ontario, you should document this dose and you should get the second dose as soon as you are eligible. Do not wait for your previous dose to be documented before getting your final dose.
  • If you have received all recommended doses or a combination of Health Canada authorized vaccines within the minimum recommended interval, after documenting the out of province dose(s) you will be considered to have a complete vaccine series and no additional doses are needed.

Vaccines approved for use in Canada are currently Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), SpikeVax (Moderna), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), and the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Vaccines Not Authorized by Health Canada

  • If you have received and documented one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized for use by Health Canada, you will be considered to have received a full vaccine series by getting one additional dose of an mRNA vaccine. Do not wait for your previous dose(s) to be documented before getting your final dose.
    • The interval between your previous dose and the additional dose should be at least 28 days
    • If you already received three doses of a non-Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine at the minimum intervals, you should not receive any additional doses at this time

Unsure About Which Vaccine You Received

  • If you received a previous dose and you do not have proof of vaccination, please contact the health care provider who gave you the COVID-19 vaccine(s) to receive a copy of your vaccination record.
  • If the COVID-19 vaccine product used for your previous dose(s) remains unknown, or if written proof of vaccination is provided for a vaccine whose generic or trade name is not recognized, a new vaccine series should be started with a Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
    • If you know the date of your previous COVID-19 immunization, wait at least 28 days before getting a new Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine series.

If you are eligible for an additional dose(s), including an mRNA dose needed to complete your series or a booster dose, you can book an appointment at any City-run immunization clinic using your green photo Ontario Health Card (OHIP) number through the  provincial portal or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). With an older red and white OHIP card number or with not OHIP number at all you can book an appointment by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Walk-in appointments are also accepted. You do not need to wait until your out-of-province dose(s) is documented by Toronto Public Health.

No Prior COVID-19 Vaccination

If you have not received your first dose, it is still strongly recommended even if you had a COVID-19 infection. Immunity from an infection may not last and you can get COVID-19 again.  Every COVID-19 infection increases the risk for long COVID. To maximize the immune response after your confirmed COVID-19 infection, you can wait 8 weeks from when your symptoms started or you tested positive to get vaccinated. You can also get the vaccine as soon as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished your self-isolation. The vaccine is safe after a recent COVID-19 infection.

Hybrid Immunity

Hybrid immunity means having protection from being vaccinated for COVID-19 and a recent past COVID-19 infection. It provides strong protection.

A past COVID-19 infection can provide natural immunity, but it does not last long – especially with Omicron variants. You have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 again if you are not up-to-date with your vaccinations.

If you have had COVID-19 in the past you should still stay up to date with your vaccinations to get the benefit of hybrid immunity.

Second Dose Interval / Third Dose (as Part of a Three-Dose Primary Series) for Moderate to Severely Immunocompromised Individuals

It is still recommended you complete your vaccination series, even if you had a COVID-19 infection. Immunity from an infection may not last and you can get COVID-19 again.  To maximize the immune response after your confirmed COVID-19 infection, you can wait 8 weeks from when your symptoms started or you tested positive to get vaccinated. You can also get the vaccine as soon as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished your self-isolation. The vaccine is safe after a recent COVID-19 infection.

Booster Dose Interval(s)

Booster dose(s) are still recommended, even if you had a COVID-19 infection. Immunity from an infection may not last and you can get COVID-19 again. To maximize the immune response of the vaccine after your infection, you can wait at least three to six months from when your symptoms started or you tested positive. .  The vaccine is safe after a recent COVID-19 infection.