In response to unprecedented demand for second dose vaccine appointments, the City of Toronto will be adding 30,000 appointments using Moderna vaccine to its immunization clinics.
The additional appointments will be available starting Wednesday, June 16 at 8 a.m. for vaccination appointments between June 22 and 27. These new appointments will be for the Moderna vaccine only – this is the first time the City has offered Moderna rather than exclusively Pfizer vaccine in its immunization clinics.
Vaccination coverage is a key consideration in the provincial reopening plan and will impact the timing for moving into next steps of the Province of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen. Getting a second dose of vaccine – any of the Health Canada approved vaccines – is critical to stopping the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, protecting vulnerable people in the community and staying on track in reopening.
People who book these new Moderna appointments at City-operated clinics will not be able to choose a different vaccine at their appointment. When the additional appointments are made available tomorrow morning, the provincial booking system will not indicate that a Moderna-specific appointment is being booked at the time of booking. Eligible individuals should be aware that almost all available appointments as of tomorrow will be for Moderna doses.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are incredibly similar with near identical efficacy rates. A “mixed mRNA model” – mixing Pfizer and Moderna for first and second dose – is approved by both the federal and provincial governments. Moderna is approved for use in anyone over 18 years of age; youth aged 12 to 17 years old will only receive Pfizer.
In the past, the City’s Moderna supply has been allocated to Team Toronto hospital partners. The additional 30,000 doses are coming from a larger expected delivery of Moderna that the entire city will receive later this week. The vast majority of the Moderna doses (71,000) will continue to be allocated to the hospitals and Sprint Strategy 2.0 mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics.
On Monday, June 14 at 8 a.m., the Province opened accelerated second dose bookings to both individuals who received a first dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine on or before May 9 (previously April 18 and earlier) and people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine eight weeks or more ago (previously 12 weeks or more). As of yesterday morning, City-run clinics were 99 per cent booked – making the 30,000 additional Moderna appointments being added tomorrow even more important.
Even with these additional appointments, the City’s immunization clinics continued to have capacity to administer more vaccine doses if additional supply was made available from the other governments.
Appointments for City-run clinics can be booked by residents through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900. Anyone looking for a vaccination appointment is asked to be patient and to continue checking the provincial booking system for openings, including those from cancellations. When looking at bookings in the provincial booking system, eligible individuals should select “Toronto” as the location to see availability across all City-run clinics.
Anyone unable to attend an appointment or who has booked an earlier appointment is urged to cancel their appointment in the provincial booking system or, in the case of partner clinics, with the clinic directly so that the appointment can be made available to someone else.
The Province has said Ontario, including Toronto, will remain in each step of the Roadmap to Reopen for at least 21 days. Everyone is encouraged to review the COVID-19: Guide for Toronto Residents with information about what is and is not permitted in Step One. Residents are encouraged to check back often to ensure they are following the most up-to-date public health guidance, provincial regulations and City bylaws.
“We are doing everything we can as city with the supply we have from the other governments to help people get vaccinated. These additional appointments next week will help more people get vaccinated as soon as possible. We are making tremendous progress on getting residents vaccinated and we are determined for that progress to continue across the city so we can bring this pandemic to an end.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Across our city, Torontonians are stepping up and doing their part to keep themselves and our city safe. Already approximately 74 per cent of Torontonians 18 and up have had their first dose, and 20 per cent have had both doses of vaccine. This is excellent progress, but we’ll must keep scaling up until everyone, in every area of our city, can easily access both doses and be fully vaccinated.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Board of Health
“With the Delta variant circulating in our community, getting Toronto fully vaccinated is a key strategy to protect individual and community health. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are fully interchangeable, safe and both are highly effective. If you are able to move up your second dose appointment – and Moderna is offered – please seize the opportunity.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“I am always happy to see an increase in vaccine allocation. This increased vaccine allocation corresponds with the City’s ability to add additional vaccine appointments at our City-run mass immunization clinics and more importantly, even more people will be able to get their first or second dose of vaccine.”
– Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management
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