With the expanded eligibility for fourth doses announced by the Province of Ontario this morning, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is ready to deliver fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the next phase of Team Toronto’s vaccination campaign.
Eligible residents age 60 and older, as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members age 18 and over will be eligible to book an appointment to get a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting tomorrow, Thursday, April 7 at 8 a.m. Appointments will be available for all five City of Toronto immunization clinics from April 9 to 23, with more appointments being released soon. For more information, visit the City’s COVID-19: City Immunization Clinics webpage.
Eligible residents can book their fourth dose appointment through the online COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible residents can book their fourth dose if at least five months have passed since receiving their third dose.
Populations at highest risk of waning protection and severe COVID-19 illness will be eligible to get a fourth dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine as an extra layer of protection against Omicron and the BA.2 variant. The expanded eligibility follows the recommendations on fourth doses made yesterday by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
Third and fourth doses are still recommended by NACI, even if residents have had a recent COVID-19 infection because immunity may wane. To maximize the immune response of the vaccine after a COVID-19 infection, it is recommended that residents wait 12 weeks or three months after they tested positive or their symptoms started. The vaccine is safe after a recent COVID-19 infection.
Under the expanded eligibility, as of today, approximately 26,000 Toronto residents age 60 and older are eligible to book a fourth dose appointment because they received their third dose on November 6, 2021 or earlier. Over the next month, approximately 114,000 residents in this age group will be eligible to book their fourth dose based on the five-month dosing interval. With expanded eligibility in this phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, City-run immunization clinics will return to a booked appointment-only system starting Saturday, April 9.
A fourth dose has been available since December 29, 2021 to many immunocompromised individuals, residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and older adults living in congregate settings as well as adults who may have received three doses of any non-Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine. As of Monday, April 4, approximately 25,000 Toronto residents have already received their fourth dose.
As of yesterday, TPH and Team Toronto can administer upwards of 30,000 doses per week at a minimum, including 20,000 clients per week at City-run immunization clinics. This is in addition to mobile and other clinics operated by TPH and Team Toronto health care partners. TPH and Team Toronto are actively working to increase vaccination capacity over the next few weeks to administer fourth doses, as well as first, second, third and children’s doses to Toronto residents.
Residents can also get their fourth dose at more than 525 local pharmacies that are offering this vaccine, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, select primary care offices and other Team Toronto health care partner clinics. More information on how to book is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.
TPH continues to encourage all residents to get their first, second, third or fourth dose of the vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Data has shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against serious illness, hospitalization, intubation and death. The fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will provide an extra layer of protection as COVID-19 and its new variants continue to circulate in the community. Recent Ontario data shows that the older and more under-vaccinated an individual infected with COVID-19, the more likely they are to require hospitalization.
More information about where to get vaccinated across the city is available on the COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.
“Team Toronto is ready to help more residents get their fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose now that the province has opened up eligibility. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and the progress that we have made. Our City-run immunization clinics have helped deliver millions of vaccine doses and have helped Toronto reach world-leading vaccination rates. Now they are ready to help residents get their fourth dose. If you are eligible, please get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The team at Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto partners are prepared for fourth dose vaccinations for eligible residents. With the provincial governments announcement today and NACI’s recommendations, Toronto residents will be easily book an appointment at one of our five City-run immunization clinics starting [date]. We will continue to work hard to ensure residents at higher risk of COVID-19 get their fourth dose and the essential protection afforded by vaccination.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
“With the expansion of fourth dose eligibility, Team Toronto is ready to vaccinate residents 60 plus with their fourth dose. Vaccination continues to be the best protection from severe health outcomes from COVID-19, and that’s why it’s so important to get vaccinated with all doses as soon as you are eligible. Thank you to all of our Team Toronto partners who continue to act quickly to ensure Torontonians can get vaccinated and be protected as soon eligibility expands.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.