Vaccine Information

Get your COVID-19 vaccine by booking an appointment at our Women’s College Hospital Vaccine Clinic here.

For the most up-to-date information about the vaccines, eligibility and how to get vaccinated, please click here. To book a vaccine appointment, please use the provincial booking system.

Safe and reliable vaccines can help protect you and your family against COVID-19.

For COVID-19 vaccine information in multiple languages, please click here.

To access culturally relevant and trauma-informed information about COVID-19 vaccinations for First Nations, Inuit and Métis visit Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – Sharing Medicine. Additional COVID-19 information in First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages can be found here.

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Fourth Vaccine Doses

Starting April 7, 2022, individuals aged 60 and over as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over can get a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Click here for more information.

Eligible individuals will be able to book their fourth dose appointment through:

  • the COVID-19 vaccination portal
  • by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900
  • directly through public health units that use their own booking systems
  • through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics
  • participating pharmacies, or participating primary care settings

Currently the fourth dose is not mandatory, but highly encouraged to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Expanding booster eligibility will provide an extra layer of protection against the Omicron and BA.2 variants and are another tool the province is using to live with and manage COVID-19.

Yes.

Third Vaccine Doses

Individuals aged 18 and over are eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment through the Ontario’s booking portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings.

Appointments will be booked three months (84 days) after a second dose as the province urgently expands booster eligibility to millions more individuals.

For more information about third doses, please click here.

Eligible individuals can book COVID-19 booster dose appointments through:

No. You are still considered fully vaccinated starting two weeks after your second dose.

No, currently the third dose is not mandatory. It is optional but highly encouraged to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Yes, it will show up on your vaccine passport.

In alignment with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, individuals are currently being provided the same vaccine as they received for the second dose. However, people can indicate a preference.

The third dose is designed to help you maintain your immunity against COVID-19. It also provides further protection upon exposure to the virus and minimizes transmission of COVID-19 to other vulnerable populations (in hospital and at home).

You can expect to feel the same way after your third dose as you did after your second dose.

There is no concern around receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine together or close in time and you are encouraged to get both.

Flu vaccines are available through local pharmacies.

General Vaccine Facts

All of the COVID-19 vaccines get your body to build immunity, or protect you, against the virus without causing the illness. Different vaccines do this in different ways. In the simplest form, the vaccine trains the immune system to recognize COVID-19 and respond quickly if you are ever exposed to the actual COVID-19 virus.

 

No, none of the vaccines currently approved in Canada can give you COVID-19 or any other infectious disease. Keep in mind it takes a few weeks for your body to build immunity after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, it’s possible that you could become infected with the actual virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after being vaccinated, but the illness is not a result of the vaccine.

Yes, the vaccines are free.

As of December 31, 2021, the Ontario government changed PCR testing eligibility. Click here to view the new guidelines and see if you are eligible for a PCR test.

Getting Vaccinated

Anyone 5 years of age or older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada.

Everyone is at risk for COVID-19. Even young and healthy people can contract COVID-19 and have serious symptoms, including long-term effects on your brain, heart, and/or lungs. There is currently no way to know who will or will not get these symptoms. Even if you personally don’t develop a severe COVID-19 infection, you may still pass on the virus to someone who could. If you are vaccinated, you’re helping to keep you – and the people around you – safe.

Yes, people who have already had COVID-19 should still get a COVID-19 vaccine. While getting COVID-19 might offer some protection from getting infected again, it’s not clear how long this protection lasts or how effective it is. We do know that getting infected again is possible and COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications.

After you get the vaccine, you must continue to follow public health recommendations including:

  • Washing your hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Physical distancing
  • Wearing a mask where required

Pregnant people are at increased risk for severe outcomes of COVID-19. Evidence shows that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends you get a complete series with an mRNA vaccine if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, there is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems.

Before booking a vaccination, you are encouraged to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about the risks vs. benefits of taking the vaccine. You will be required to indicate that you have had this discussion with your doctor or specialist at the time of vaccination. The staff at the vaccine clinic will also be able to answer any questions you may have.

Additional Resource: Information Tool – COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

A third dose, or booster dose, vaccine provides an extra layer of protection against COVID-19. Health Canada authorized mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) to be provided for third/booster doses. A booster dose is an additional dose of vaccine that helps to increase immunity that may have decreased over time.

Those eligible for a fourth dose are highly encouraged to get it.

None of the vaccines are 100% effective at preventing infections, so even if vaccinated people don’t get very sick with COVID-19, they may still contract an infection and can potentially transmit the virus to others. However, it appears that vaccinated people spread COVID-19 for a shorter period than unvaccinated people because they have lower levels of the virus in their bodies.

 

The Ministry of Health strongly recommends that all individuals receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 8 weeks after their first dose.

Individuals aged 18+ can get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 3 months after their second dose.

Immunocompromised individuals, those aged 60+ and First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18+ can get a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a recommended interval of 5 months after receiving their last booster.

Vaccine Safety & Effectiveness

Yes, the vaccines are safe. All vaccines are heavily inspected in clinical trials and by Health Canada. The approval process is very strong. Even after approval, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

 

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum or fetal cells.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19. Evidence indicates that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Two doses of the Pfizer vaccine leads to 95% efficacy against COVID-19 hospitalization. Two doses of the Moderna vaccine leads to 94% efficacy against COVID-19 hospitalization. However, protection against the virus may decrease overtime, which is why Health Canada strongly recommends booking a third booster shot to maintain immunity and enhanced protection against COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:

  • Pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fever or Chills

You will be monitored for 15 minutes after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. Most side effects happen within the first three days after vaccination and typically last only one to two days.

Fever or chills are relatively rare and if experienced, should prompt you to get a test for COVID-19.

Yes, visible minority groups were included in the clinical trials.

Vaccine Eligibility, Distribution & Proof

Anyone 5 years of age or older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada.

Yes, Canada has more than sufficient supply of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate everyone who is eligible.

Health Canada has approved a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine made for children aged 5 to 11 years old. This vaccine for children has a smaller dose than the vaccine for those 12 years of age and older.

Vaccination sites are issuing vaccination receipts electronically via email if provided, or printed out. Individuals with the Green photo health (OHIP) card can now log-in to the provincial portal through ontario.ca/bookvaccine to obtain a PDF copy of their COVID-19 vaccine receipt for both their first and second dose.

Individuals with the red and white health card can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line for a call centre agent to email a copy of their first and second dose vaccination receipts.

Proof of vaccination can be download through the Government of Ontario portal.

On the day of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, every individual must present documentation to confirm their identity. This document or combination of documents must include: a photo, name, and birth date. Individuals do not need to satisfy the residency requirement for OHIP in order to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Many different identification (ID) documents may be acceptable for this purpose. These documents include, but are not limited to:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Piece of registered mail
  • Student card
  • Library card
  • Club or organization ID cards
  • Government issued identification from other jurisdictions including: foreign passports, or other provincial or territorial health cards.

    Should a person have no identity documentation or photo documentation or is unable to provide verification of primary place of residence, they may work with their public health unit and/or community organizations, school or medical provider to verify their identity. This may be provided in the form of a letter from a community organization, school or medical provider or other identity verification form. Expired government issued identity documents will also be accepted for this purpose. Individuals may bring more than one identity document to support their identity should they not have one document that includes their legal name, a photo and date of birth.

Vaccine Production & Approval

No steps were skipped in the process of developing, testing, approving and producing the vaccines. Health Canada has thoroughly reviewed all of the data before approving the vaccines as safe and effective for Canadians. The vaccines were produced faster than before, not because of skipped steps but because of high levels of collaboration and funding from around the world.

Messenger RNA vaccines (also called mRNA vaccines) are able to be made quickly by a simpler process than is required for some other types of vaccines. mRNA vaccines are like CD players that can play any kind of CD – classical music, rap or pop. The scientists had the CD player before COVID-19 hit. Once they figured out the Coronavirus CD, they could place it into the player and develop the vaccine a lot faster than before, since they used what was already known and built on it. mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.