Last updated: May 18, 2022 at 12:55 p.m.
You can continue reducing the spread of COVID-19 by keeping up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines, getting tested and receiving COVID-19 treatment (if eligible) and continuing to follow public health measures. Vaccines enhance the body’s natural ability to fight infections. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine lowers the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, while protecting individuals and the wider community from getting sick. The COVID-19 vaccine can also protect you against long COVID. Even if you recently got COVID-19, getting vaccinated helps to have stronger and longer lasting immunity.
An initial vaccine series, or primary series, is considered to be the number of vaccine doses needed to develop a strong initial immune response. In Ontario, you are considered to be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all recommended doses, including any booster dose(s) that you are eligible for. What is considered 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:
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 5 and older is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Children must be at least 5 years old at the time of vaccination. For information about vaccinations for children and youth, please see COVID-19 Children and Vaccines.
For most people, mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines are the best vaccine choice because of their strong immune protection they provide against severe illness and hospitalization, and their well-known safety profiles. The Pfizer vaccine is strongly recommended for 5-29 year olds, See Update on messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
Children five to 17 years of age 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 vaccine is a new COVID-19 vaccine 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.
Everyone ages 5 and older are encouraged to receive their second dose as soon as they are eligible to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.
The Pfizer-BioNTech (including the Pediatric vaccine), Moderna Spikevax, Novavax Nuvaxovid and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines require two doses.
The Novavax vaccine is a new COVID-19 vaccine 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.
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.
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 can be given at a minimum of two months (56 days) after the second dose.
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, including making more antibodies. Health Canada authorized mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) to be provided for booster doses, regardless of which vaccine was used for your primary series.
The interval between the doses is dependent 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.
According to NACI and the Ministry of Ontario, 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.
A first booster dose vaccine provides an extra layer of protection against COVID-19.
A second booster dose is a dose given after the first booster. Currently the second booster dose is recommended for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including seniors. For most people, a second booster will be their fourth dose. For people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, this will be their fifth dose.
A second booster dose of any mRNA vaccine is recommended for:
Either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine product can be given as a booster dose, although data suggests that Moderna Spikevax may provide a more robust immune response for those who are seniors or have a weakened immune system. The booster dose for Moderna is a full dose for people ages 70 and over and may be a half dose for other groups.
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised will need to bring one of the following and optimal timing should be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your clinical team:
It is strongly recommended that all people that come into close contact (e.g., healthcare workers and other support staff, family, friends, caregivers) with those who are immunocompromised complete a full two-dose vaccine series, including booster dose(s) when eligible (i.e., “ring vaccination”) and continue to follow public health measures.
|Name||Type||Age group||Primary Series Dose schedule||Vaccine dosage
|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)||Available|
|Moderna Spikevax||mRNA||12 years +||2 doses; 8 weeks apart||Primary series: Full dose (100 mcg)
|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)
|Only by referral|
|Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)*||Viral vector||18 years +||1 dose||Primary series: Full dose (0.5 mL)||Only by referral|
* 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 12 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:
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 5 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.
For all clinics, residents must bring an acceptable form of identification with them which may include government-issued ID (including 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.
Vaccines approved for use in Canada are currently Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), SpikeVax (Moderna), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), and the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
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.
If you have not received your first dose, it is 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 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.
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.
A booster dose is 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 12 weeks from when your symptoms started or you tested positive. 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.