More Ontarians Can Get Their Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Dose Starting Today

Here's what you need to know!

The entrance of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Canada.

The entrance of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Canada.

Ontarians aged 12 and up are now eligible to get their bivalent COVID-19 booster dose starting this week.

The Ontario government announced the rollout in a press release on Thursday, stating that anyone who is 12 years old and over can book their next dose starting Monday, October 17, if they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series.

"We are entering into the fall season where traditionally we see a rise in cases of respiratory illness, including COVID-19," said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. "Vaccines improve your immune response and reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and post-infection symptoms. We recommend Ontarians stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations at the appropriate interval since their last dose, and get an annual flu shot when it becomes available."

Ontario got the first shipments of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine from the feds last week, and Ontarians aged 12 to 17 can start booking their appointments now through the COVID-19 vaccination portal. Or they can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

If you're eligible, you can also book an appointment through participating pharmacies, public health units, indigenous-led vaccination clinics, or participating health care providers.

Bivalent COVID-19 booster doses were rolled out for vulnerable populations over the age of 18 In Ontario on September 12, and all eligible individuals 18 and up could receive the bivalent COVID-19 booster starting September 26, according to a press release.

According to the Ontario government, a booster dose "restores protection, as evidence shows vaccine protection decreases over time."

High-risk individuals can book their booster dose three months after their last dose however, "most" people under the age of 65 should book their booster, if they so choose, at the "recommended six-month interval."

Anyone five years of age and older whose eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine can also knock out two birds with one stone and get their flu shot alongside the vaccine.

Flu shots will be available in Ontario starting November 1, and you can access them through a health care provider, participating pharmacies and public health units.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

Brooke Houghton
Brooke Houghton is a contributing writer for Narcity Media based in Toronto, Ontario.