Last updated: September 26, 2022 at 1:00 p.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 for everyone aged 18 and over. Also, the new pediatric Pfizer vaccine is now available for children aged 6 months to under 5 years old. Eligible people may book an appointment at a City-run or hospital clinic either online or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

 

With the start of the fall and winter respiratory illness season, it is important for everyone to stay up to date with their vaccines. COVID-19 continues to spread in our community as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors. Vaccinations (including fall boosters) are the best tool to keep people healthy and out of hospitals.

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. What is considered staying up to date may change over time and by age.

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.

A primary series is typically the first two or three doses, with the original (monovalent) mRNA vaccines, needed for a strong initial immune response.

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. The original (monovalent) COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, Pfizer BioNTech (including the Pediatric vaccine) and Moderna, 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 Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna Spikevax, Novavax Nuvaxovid and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines require two doses. For children 6 months to under 5 years of age, the Pediatric Pfizer (3 mcg) vaccine requires three doses.

The Pfizer vaccine is strongly recommended for residents 5 to 29 years of age. 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 an option for people 18 years of age and older, who have not been able, due to contraindications, or are not willing to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. It can also be used to complete a primary series that was started using a viral vector vaccine.

Interval between 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 doses in the primary series. Evidence will continue to be monitored and information will be updated as needed.

  • A primary series completed with two to three 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.
  • An 8 week interval is associated with a lower rate of side effects.
  • Data suggests that 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 first and second dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine).
  • 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 vaccine, information about 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 6 months to 5 years old, the Monovalent Moderna (25mcg) may be given. The NACI recommendation for the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech (3mcg) is pending.
  • For children ages 5 to 11 years old, the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech (10mcg) vaccine should be given.
  • For ages 12 to 29 years old, Pfizer BioNTech (30mcg) is recommended and preferred. With informed consent, adults 18 to 29 years old may receive a full dose of Moderna (100mcg).
  • For ages 30 and older, a full dose of Moderna (100mcg) or PfizerBioNTech (30mcg) should be given.

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.

It is recommended that all individuals ages 5 and older get a mRNA COVID-19 booster dose:

  • regardless of the number of booster doses previously received
  • six months after a COVID-19 vaccine dose or a COVID-19 infection. Three months (84 days) may be considered based on age, risk and health status
  • people at higher risk of getting very sick should get a bivalent booster three months (84 days) after their last dose or infection

Booster dose eligibility

  • Infants and children 6 months to 4 years of age are not eligible at this time
  • Children 5 to 11 years of age may receive the original (monovalent) Pfizer-BioNTech (10mcg)
  • Youth 12 to 17 years of age may receive the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech (30mcg) vaccine. With informed consent, it is preferred that youth who are immunocompromised and/or at higher risk from severe outcomes of COVID-19 be offered a bivalent booster vaccine
  • Adults 18 years of age and older are recommended to receive a bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA booster dose
  • A Moderna bivalent booster dose is recommended, at least three months (84 days) after last COVID-19 dose or infection, for the following high-risk groups:
    • Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and adults living in other congregate settings
    • People aged 65 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)

Please note that the bivalent mRNA 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.

With informed consent, all COVID-19 vaccines for people aged 5 years and older, 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 adults (aged 18 and over) without contraindications, who are not able or willing to receive an mRNA vaccine.

Book an appointment for a booster dose at our City-run clinics or pharmacies. Find out where to get vaccinated.

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
Pediatric Pfizer BioNTech mRNA 6 months to under 5 years 3 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series: 3 mcg

Booster dose:
Not eligible

Available
Pediatric Pfizer BioNTech mRNA 5 to 11 years 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series:
Full dose (10 mcg)Booster dose:
Full dose (10 mcg)
Available
Pfizer BioNTech mRNA 12 years+ 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series and booster dose: Full dose (30 mcg)
Available
Pediatric Moderna Spikevax (25 mcg) mRNA 6 months to 11 years old 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series:

  • 6 months to 5 years old: 25 mcg
  • 6 to 11 years old: 50 mcg
Available
Moderna Spikevax mRNA 6 years+ 2 doses; 8 weeks apart Primary series:

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

Booster, if eligible:
Original (monovalent) vaccine (6 to 11 years old):

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

Bivalent vaccine (18 years+):

  • Full dose (50 mcg)
Available
Novavax (Nuvaxovid) Protein subunit 18 years + 2 doses, 8 weeks apart Primary series:
Full dose (0.5 mL)Booster dose:
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)Booster dose:
Only with informed consent AND if all other COVID-19 vaccines are contraindicated
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.

Even with a previous COVID-19 infection, people who have not started/completed their primary series or those who are eligible for a booster dose, are still strongly recommended to complete their COVID-19 series. Immunity from an infection may not last and people can be infected with COVID-19 again.

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

Every COVID-19 infection increases the risk for long COVID. To maximize the immune response after you have had COVID‑19, you should wait the following intervals after symptoms started or a positive test (if you had no symptoms) before receiving your next dose:

If completing your primary series:

  • two months (56 days) if you are not immunocompromised and have no history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)
  • one to two months (28 to 56 days) if you are immunocompromised but have no history of MIS-C
  • if you have a history of MIS-C, until clinical recovery has been achieved or up to 90 days since the onset, whichever is longer, regardless of immunocompromised status

If getting a booster dose:

  • at least three months (84 days); however, six months (168 days) may provide better immune response