Having received recommendations from the Ontario Ministry of Health on the expanded eligibility for third doses of COVID-19 vaccines today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is preparing for the next phase of the vaccination campaign. The recommendations follow last week’s guidance on third doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
Populations at highest risk of waning protection and severe COVID-19 illness will be offered a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after completing their primary series (168 days or longer since their second dose). More than 26,000 Toronto residents have already received a third dose. With today’s announcement, many healthcare workers, individuals 70 years of age and older, many immunocompromised individuals, individuals who received a two-dose series of a viral vector COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD) and other at-risk populations are now eligible for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. A full list of eligible individuals is available on the provincial website
TPH estimates that more than 65,000 Torontonians will be eligible to receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, November 8. With expanded eligibility, and as part of the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, City of Toronto-run immunization clinics are returning to a booked appointment-based system.
On Saturday, November 6 at 8 a.m., 40,000 appointments over the next two weeks at TPH vaccine clinics will be available through the provincial booking system. Additional appointments will be opened up in future weeks. Health care workers can receive their COVID-19 vaccine through the hospital with which they are affiliated. Toronto residents can also receive their COVID-19 vaccine through one of more than 450 local pharmacies that are offering this vaccine, at many doctor’s offices and at other health care partner clinics. More information on how to book is available here
TPH encourages all residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. Recent local data show that compared to those who are fully vaccinated, those who are unvaccinated are four times more likely to get COVID-19, five times more likely to be hospitalized, and 42 times more likely to be admitted to ICU.
“Thank you in advance to those who are coming forward to get their third doses, so they are better protected as we move into the winter – your ongoing commitment to getting vaccinated not only has helped protect you and your loved ones, it helps protect the progress we have all made getting through this fourth wave and fighting the Delta variant. We are doing everything we can as a city with the help of all our Team Toronto partners to help residents get vaccinated and – as they become eligible – get their third doses.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto partners have been actively preparing for third dose vaccinations for residents at highest risk. With the Ontario Government’s announcement today of expanded eligibility for third dose shots, eligible Torontonians will be able to easily book an appointment at our one of our five City-run immunization clinics starting Saturday. Helping people who are at elevated risk get their booster shots is one more piece in our commitment to protecting Torontonians and helping people stay safe.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of Toronto’s Board of Health
“As we prepare for the next phase of our COVID-19 vaccination campaign, we continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines through appointments for residents who are still looking to get fully vaccinated. If you are eligible for your third dose, there are many options available to you. I would encourage you to get your vaccine through the channel that makes the best sense to you. If you’re eligible for your first or second dose, it’s even more important that you complete your vaccination series as soon as possible. This protection is for you, for your family, and for our entire community, especially for our younger children who are not yet eligible for vaccination.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health