Toronto Public Health (TPH) has kicked off its annual campaign to combat COVID-19 and influenza (flu) in anticipation of a surge in respiratory illnesses this Fall.
In an effort to protect some of the City’s most vulnerable residents, TPH is now offering COVID-19 vaccines at its fixed-site vaccination clinics. More than 4,250 new appointments have been added for the updated monovalent COVID-19 vaccine, with an additional 8,500 appointments in the coming days, so that residents can be vaccinated in advance of the colder months when people spend more time indoors.
TPH has a phased approach to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines based on eligibility criteria set by the Ontario Ministry of Health. The campaign will start with priority groups, including:
Eligible high-risk residents can now book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the Province’s webpage.
In addition to the newly available COVID-19 vaccinations at TPH fixed-site vaccination clinics, TPH mobile clinics will offer COVID-19 and flu vaccines to residents of shelters and naturally occurring retirement communities, and clients of newcomer agencies. COVID-19 and flu vaccines will also be available at participating pharmacies for high-risk populations before they become available to the general public.
Starting October 31, all Torontonians will be able to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu vaccine at the same time at fixed-site vaccination clinics, pharmacies or primary health care providers. The general public can book their appointment on the Toronto Public Health webpage starting October 25. Only one appointment will be required to get both vaccines at a TPH fixed-site vaccination clinic.
TPH encourages all Torontonians to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as it is their turn. Getting vaccinated is an easy and effective way to be protected. Both vaccines are free for people six months of age and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. An OHIP card is not required at TPH clinics but may be requested by other providers.
Torontonians can take the following steps to be protected against respiratory illness this season:
TPH is making free rapid antigen tests conveniently available at various city facilities across Toronto. Residents who test positive for COVID-19 are reminded that they may be eligible for treatment. To be most effective, these medications need to be taken within five to seven days of when symptoms start.
Residents can also stay informed on virus activity in the city by viewing TPH’s new integrated respiratory virus surveillance dashboard. TPH will provide weekly updates on flu and COVID-19 cases and all respiratory outbreaks in institutions and public hospitals.
For more information, visit the City’s Respiratory Viruses webpage.
“Toronto is a caring city. As we head into the fall and winter seasons, let’s remember to care for ourselves and others by rolling up our sleeves and getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu as soon as it’s our turn.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“Vaccine protection decreases over time and many of us are due for an additional dose. New formulations of the COVID-19 vaccine are effective against the current dominant variant of the virus. I encourage residents to be vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu as soon as they’re eligible.”
– Chris Moise, Councillor and Board of Health Chair (Toronto-Centre)
“Toronto Public Health has been working diligently in the lead-up to what we expect will be an active respiratory virus season. As we kickstart our annual COVID-19 and flu vaccination campaign, our foremost priority is protecting the health of our most vulnerable residents. We are offering vaccines at TPH fixed-site vaccination clinics and deploying mobile clinics to locations like shelters, naturally occurring retirement communities, and newcomer agencies to ensure access for those who need it most. Additionally, we urge everyone to take this opportunity to get vaccinated, not only for your well-being but also to contribute to the overall health and safety of our community.”
–Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
Toronto is home to more than three 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 climate action, 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.