Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Vaccine Info & FAQ

Hot Spots in Spadina-Fort York

Currently, the "hot spot" postal codes in our riding are:

M5A, M5V, M6K

  • People ages 50+ (born 1971 or earlier) living in M5A can book a vaccine at St. Michael's.
  • People ages 50+ (born 1971 or earlier) living in M6K can book a vaccine at St. Joseph's.  

Click here for information on eligibility and how to book.

  • People ages 50+ in all hot spot postal codes, can book vaccination appointments at City-run immunization clinics.

Click here to book a vaccine at a Mass Vaccination Clinic.

  • UHN ANNOUNCEMENT: UHN has temporarily paused registration to people ages 18-49 living in M5V due to overwhelming response. Anyone already registered will be contacted by UHN or Ontario Health when an appointment is available.

Vaccine for People 18+ in Hot Spots

There has been some confusion around how the younger age group in hot spot areas can access vaccines. Currently, those 18 years of age and older living in hot spot neighbourhoods can only receive a vaccine at a pop-up or mobile clinic when it is launched. Locations of the clinics will be communicated through local networks in order to try and target just those people who live in the area. We are working with the office of Councillor Joe Cressy to receive local information on mobile clinics. Please note that anyone who goes to a mass immunization clinic without an appointment will be turned away.


Vaccine for People 50+ in Hot Spot Postal Codes

Residents aged 50 or over living in COVID-19 hot spot postal codes can book vaccination appointments at City of Toronto mass immunization clinics through Ontario's online and telephone booking system.

You can access the online booking system here: Ontario.ca/bookvaccine

Hot spot areas are neighbourhoods identified by the Province of Ontario. Below is a chart showing all the hot spot postal codes:

Vaccine for Education Workers / Mobile Units

  • All education workers in high-risk neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel Region, and those who work with students with special needs, are eligible to receive a vaccine.
  • Mobile vaccine teams and pop-up clinics are being organized to administer vaccines in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, large employers, and in hot spot neighbourhoods to individuals aged 18 or over.

For more information on hot spot postal codes, please click here.

When booking an appointment, you will be asked for information from your green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number.

People who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call and book through the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488.


Vaccine Booking Information

AstraZeneca Vaccine for People 40+

  • The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to individuals 40 years old and over in pharmacies and primary care settings starting on Tuesday, April 20. Despite the two cases in Canada of reported blood clots in younger people, Health Canada maintains that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks of getting COVID-19. The agency has approved the use of the vaccine for those 18 years old and over. No word yet as to when AstraZeneca will be made available to those 18+ in Ontario.

Click here for booking information and pharmacy sites.

City-Run Mass Vaccination Clinics

  • Residents aged 60 and older (born in 1961 or earlier), and those aged 50 and older in hot spot postal codes, can start booking vaccination appointments at City-run immunization clinics.

Click here to book a vaccine at a Mass Vaccination Clinic.

Or call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

Residents with High-Risk Conditions / Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Residents with highest-risk and high-risk conditions can now book an appointment at Sunnybrook and North York General. This list includes:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (for example, motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30
  • Obesity (BMI over 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (for example, chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (for example, Down Syndrome)

Please only book a vaccine appointment if you meet this eligibility criteria. Please note you may be asked for proof of your eligibility when you arrive.

Booking information here for Sunnybrook.

Booking information here for North York General.

Transportation for Seniors/Vulnerable Residents

  • The City of Toronto announced the Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan to help ensure vulnerable residents and seniors can access COVID-19 vaccinations by making it easier to travel to clinics. This program is intended for those who have limited transportation options or who cannot afford transportation to vaccination appointments. This program is available now for limited appointments, but will continue to be expanded over the coming weeks as additional resources and capacity become available.

To book a ride:

People who receive social assistance may be eligible for medical transportation funds to help cover costs of travel to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Social assistance recipients should contact their caseworker to access transportation funds they may be eligible for.

Need assistance?

  • For Step-by-Step Instructions on how to book, please click this link.
  • People can also call 1-888-385-1910 for assistance to complete pre-registration forms and book appointments at local vaccine clinics operated by participating hospitals and OHTs.

Vaccine Assistance for Seniors and Homebound Persons

Our office is working with the Spadina-Fort York Community Care Program (@spafycc) to set up a system to assist seniors, homebound persons and people without tech access to register for their vaccines. Spafycc is reaching out to residents by phone, but if know someone who needs assistance, please email [email protected].

Volunteers welcome! If you are interested in volunteering to help with this vaccine registration program or our community food program, please sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/spafyccvolunteer.

Homebound Persons

If you are a homebound person receiving care through a Primary Care Provider, Family Health Team, Home or Community Care or Community Support Services or Agencies, please contact your provider to learn whether they are able to offer in-home vaccination. Many teams are beginning to organize or being supported to offer in-home vaccination and will begin to reach out to their patients and/or clients in the coming weeks. If your provider is not able to offer at-home vaccination, they will place your name onto a list for at-home vaccination.

If you are a homebound person who DOES NOT HAVE a Primary Care Provider, Family Health Team, Home or Community Care or Community Support Services, please contact the Toronto Seniors Helpline. The Toronto Seniors Helpline will be available to support homebound people who are 18-65 years old, as well as seniors. They can be contacted at 416-217-2077 or by web chat following instruction at https://torontoseniorshelpline.ca/web-chat/

 


Vaccine FAQ

This information is current as of April 19, 2021.

 

PART 1: Vaccine Rollout

1. Who is responsible for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout?

2. Why is it taking so long for Toronto to vaccinate people?

3. Why has the Ontario Government’s vaccine rollout been so slow compared to the rest of the country?

4. What is Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine plan?

 

PART 2: Booking a Vaccine Appointment

5. Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

6. How can I book my vaccine appointment?

7. Where are the City-run vaccination clinics located?

8. Can I book my appointment at more than one location? Can I cancel or change my appointment?

9. Can I be vaccinated at a location outside of my region?

 

PART 3: Access to the Vaccine

10. Will people be notified when they are eligible for the vaccine?

11. Will residents of encampments be vaccinated so they can safely return indoors?

12. What are the different ways an individual can receive the vaccine?

13. I don’t have a computer, so how can I sign up? How can housebound seniors, the ill or people with disabilities sign up?

14. When will children be vaccinated?

15. When will people with compromised immune systems and those with disabilities under the age of 65 be vaccinated?

16. When will vaccines be available for pregnant women?

17. Can a household (with people of varying ages and medical conditions) be vaccinated as a group at the same time?

18. Are Métis considered Indigenous? Will a Métis card suffice as proof?

19. Is there a mobile unit serving seniors buildings that are not long-term care settings?

 

PART 4: The Vaccine and Your Rights

20. What vaccine will I get?

21. Can I choose which vaccine I can get?

22. Do I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine? What are my rights if I choose not to be vaccinated?

23. Do you need to have OHIP to receive a vaccine?

24. Should I get the vaccine if I’ve already contracted the virus?

25. If I take the vaccine do I have to take the flu shot?

26. Do I still need to wear a mask once I am vaccinated?

27. Can a person with a Visa in the process of becoming a Permanent Resident get vaccinated before they are residents?

28. Will I be able to travel if I am not vaccinated? Will the Federal Government be implementing a “vaccine passport”?

 

PART 5: Vaccine Safety and Procurement

29. What measures is the Government of Canada taking to ensure that we will have enough vaccines for everyone?

30. Why does it seem like we are so far behind other countries?

31. Is the Federal Government on track to deliver enough vaccines to the Province of Ontario to accommodate a vaccination rate which would accomplish the year-end goal of complete vaccination?

32. What is the timeline for the Johnson & Johnson deliveries to Canada?

33. Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe with the efficacy being lower than Moderna and Pfizer. Will it be administered to individuals 65+?

34. Why is the government saying that the two vaccines that require two shots can now be spaced at 4 months apart or delivered as one dose?

35. How can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?

 


PART 1: Vaccine Rollout

1. Who is responsible for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout?  

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, we are embarking on the largest immunization effort in our country’s history. Each level of government has a role to play: 

  • The Government of Canada is responsible for obtaining the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.  
  • The Government of Ontario (the Province) is responsible for setting the overall framework for vaccine distribution, and allocating vaccines across the Province. This includes:
    • Setting the priority categories that determine who can access a vaccine and when 
    • Creating a province-wide registration system and hotline 
    • Distributing vaccine supply to local Public Health Units across Ontario
    • The province operates vaccinations directly through hospitals, Ontario Health teams, and other health care sector partners. As supply increases, pharmacists and family doctors will also be able to provide vaccines to Torontonians
  • The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health are administering vaccines through hospital and community healthcare centres, in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s Ethical Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization. The City is responsible for:
    • Identifying and supporting access to vaccines and vaccination information for people in Toronto
    • Operating the nine City-operated immunization clinics to vaccinate people in Toronto
    • Concurrently and intermittently operating mobile immunization clinics and deploying specialized, targeted immunization teams
    • Working to address the specialized needs of vulnerable populations
    • Providing vaccine information to other immunizing agencies such as pharmacies and primary care providers who will immunize their clients when vaccine supply permits community-based vaccination
    • Collaboratively planning with health sector, community and grassroots partners for coordinated immunization

2. Why is it taking so long for Toronto to vaccinate people?

Toronto Public Health, hospitals, and healthcare partners receive vaccine supply from the Province of Ontario. It is important to note that vaccine supply is still limited. If vaccine supply changes, plans and operations for vaccinations are subject to change. Opportunities for more people to be vaccinated will be announced as vaccine supply increases. 

As the largest city in Canada with an expansive health care sector, Toronto has a large number of people that fall under the Provinces Phase 1 priority for vaccination. Toronto Public Health has estimated that there are 325,000 people who qualify as top priority under Phase 1 (including frontline health care workers) but as of early March, Toronto had only received approx. 200,000 doses. 

This means that it will continue to take time before all the Priority Groups in Phase 1 are all able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and we can continue to move forward to other Phases in the Province’s framework. 

As vaccine supply increases, people will be able to get vaccinated at an increasing number of locations, including pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and community health clinics.

 

3. Why has the Ontario Government’s vaccine rollout been so slow compared to the rest of the country?

In Canada, the federal government is responsible for COVID-19 vaccine supply (procurement) and the provinces and territories are responsible for distribution (administering the vaccine to people). In December, Quebec decided to vaccinate long-term care residents straight from the distribution centres within the facilities themselves. British Columbia also sent them straight to long-term care homes. But Ontario decided to hold on to its inventory for three weeks before shipping it to its distribution centres. The reason given was that they were waiting for the vaccine-handling criteria to be changed.

On December 11, 2020, the Ontario government proposed a three-phase plan for its COVID-19 rollout set to begin on December 15, 2020. At the time, the plan was originally piloted in Toronto and Ottawa (at University Health Network and Ottawa Hospital) with health care workers, so it could write a “playbook” on how they administered the vaccinations, how they handled the vaccine and what they learned from it. This proved to be one of the factors in the delay.

 

4. What is Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine plan?

Ontario has a three-phase plan that prioritizes vaccines for those at greatest risk of severe illness and those who care for them. We are currently completing Phase 2 of the plan.

Phase 1: High-risk populations (approximately 1.8 million people)

December 2020 – March 2021

  • Congregate living for seniors
  • Health care workers
  • Adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations
  • Adult chronic home care recipients
  • Adults 70 and older

Distribution through: hospital site clinics, mobile teams, site-specific clinics, mass vaccination clinics

Phase 2: Mass deliveries of vaccines (approximately 9 million people)

April 2021 – July 2021

  • As of April 2, 2021, Adults aged 60 and older, in 5-year increments
  • High-risk congregate settings (such as shelters, community living)
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers
  • Those who cannot work from home
  • At-risk populations

Distribution through: mass vaccination clinics, pharmacies, primary care, site-specific clinics, mobile teams, mobile sites, public health units

Phase 3: Steady state

July 2021 onwards

  • Adults 59 years and younger

Distribution through: mass vaccination clinics, pharmacies, primary care, site-specific clinics, mobile teams, mobile sites, public health units

If there is limited supply, people will be vaccinated in the order in which they are listed. Learn how the priorities are determined. All timelines are subject to change depending on vaccine supply.


PART 2: Booking a Vaccine Appointment

5. Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?  

The Provincial government has determined the following people are now Phase 1 & 2 Priority groups: 

  • Residents, staff, and essential caregivers in long term care homes and retirement homes 
  • Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home, or other congregate care home for seniors
  • Priority health care workers (including frontline emergency responders) 
  • Indigenous adults (age 16 and above) 
  • People living in high-risk congregate settings, including shelters 
  • Adult recipients of chronic home care services
  • Adults 60 and older (if an individual is turning 60 in 2021)
  • High-risk congregate settings (such as shelters, community living)
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers
  • Individuals 50 and older who live in "hot spot" communities (see chart below)
  • Individuals 18-49 who live in "hot spot" communities (mobile units and some hospital clinics)

6. How can I book my vaccine appointment?

There are 4 ways to book an appointment:

1. Ontario’s Online and Telephone Booking System

You can book your appointment through the province’s online portal at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

You can also call the Province’s Vaccine Booking Help Line at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). This line is available 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, 7 days a week.

People who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488.

2. Hospitals (via pre-registration)

Eligible individuals:

  • Adults 60 and older (if an individual is turning 60 or older in 2021)
  • Adults 50 and older living in "hot spot" postal codes
  • Individuals 18-49 who live in "hot spot" communities (mobile units and some hospital clinics)
  • Health care workers in Highest Priority and Very High Priority risk groups
  • Indigenous Adults (16 years of age or older)
  • Adults receiving chronic home care

People from these priority groups can book an appointment at a hospital or health care clinic, by visiting the online registration system at:

www.vaccineto.ca or calling the call centre at 1-888-385-1910

Individuals 18-49 living in postal codes M5V, M6E, M6Hcan register via the University Health Network (UHN) which is currently taking pre-registrations for certain priority groups requiring their FIRST DOSE ONLY.

3. Select Pharmacies (AstraZeneca Vaccine for people 40 and older)

Individuals 40 and older can register to receive the AstraZeneca vaccination at one of the selected pharmacies by visiting:

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations 

In order to book, you must have a valid Ontario OHIP card, or other form of valid government-issued identification.

4. City-run Mass Immunization Clinics

Individuals 60 and older (if an individual is turning 60 or older in 2021), or those 50 and older living in "hot spot" postal codes, can also book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online at a City of Toronto operated clinic via the Ontario Online Portal at:

https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/ 

7. Where are the City-run Mass Immunization Clinics located?

If you are an adult who is 60 and older (if an individual is turning 60 in 2021), or 50 and older living in a "hot spot" postal code, you can also book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online at a City of Toronto operated clinic. Appointments are available at:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.
  • Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Dr.
  • Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.
  • Malvern Community Recreation Centre, 30 Sewells Rd.
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
  • The Hangar, 75 Carl Hall Rd.
  • East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd.
  • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Carmine Stefano Community Centre, 3100 Weston Rd.
  • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall

Residents will need to provide:

  • provincial health card number
  • birth date
  • postal code 
  • email and/or mobile phone number 

At the time of booking, residents will schedule their first vaccination appointment and an appointment to receive their second dose. 

The online registration system allows for a trusted person to book your vaccination appointments on your behalf. To book your appointments, please ensure the person booking on your behalf has the information listed above.

More information on booking appointments at the City-run immunization clinics is available here

 

8. Can I book my appointment at more than one location? Can I cancel or change my appointment?

People should only book an appointment at one vaccination clinic. If you book appointments at multiple clinics, all your bookings may be cancelled.

If you have booked an appointment at a hospital clinic but would now like to switch it to a City-run mass immunization clinic, please cancel your first appointment. You will then have to register through the City’s webpage to schedule an appointment at a City-run clinic. 

If you scheduled an appointment through the provincial online vaccine booking system, you can reschedule or cancel:

  • online – go to the confirmation email you got when you booked and follow the instructions
  • by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007)

If you booked your appointment with the public health unit or hospital, contact them directly to make any changes.

Please note that vaccinations at all clinics are by appointment only (no walk-ins).

 

9. Can I be vaccinated at a location outside of my region?

The Ministry of Health has said that Ontarians should get their vaccination within their public health unit (PHU) to help manage vaccine allocations. Pharmacies administering the vaccine have been strongly encouraged to ensure residents live in their PHU. The Ministry said they are working with frontline pharmacy partners to ensure everyone who qualifies can get their vaccine, recognizing limited supply. As supply increases, it will continue to ramp up the availability of vaccines in all public health units, including through expanded pharmacies and primary care physicians.


PART 3: Access to the Vaccine

10. Will people be notified when they are eligible for the vaccine?

Family doctors can administer shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine to residents 40 years of age and older in Toronto. Vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine at primary care settings are part of a limited rollout according to available supply and are not taking appointments by request. Do not call your primary care providers to book an appointment – participating primary care providers in select areas are reaching out to eligible Ontarians aged 40 and older (if 40 or older as of the day of vaccination or, if will be 40 or older in 2021).

The doctors are currently set to receive a limited supply of vaccine doses, but officials have said that figure could increase as more vaccine shipments arrive in Canada. Physicians will be contacting patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine.

The City of Toronto Community Engagement & Mobilization Plan is partnering with 140 local agencies to get the word out about vaccines and build trust across Toronto. This week, the $5.5 million call for proposals for partner community agencies to lead this work was released. These agencies will play a critical role in connecting with communities and residents on the ground, as we move towards Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Province’s framework and vaccine supply increases. This is about ensuring every resident, in every neighbourhood, can get a vaccine.

The lead agencies will partner with the City on door-to-door community outreach, multilingual communications to targeted populations, and facilitate access to vaccine clinics. They'll also be recruiting 280 local leaders to serve as neighbourhood vaccine ambassadors. You can read more about the call for proposals here. 

 

11. Will residents of encampments be vaccinated so they can safely return indoors?

About 1,000 people in Toronto's shelters and homeless encampments have received a COVID-19 vaccine, a health organization said, noting that immunization teams are learning how to build trust with the population to overcome hesitancy. The effort is being led by community-based health organizations, several hospitals, Ontario Health and Toronto Public Health, and is trying to reach those in more than 100 shelters, drop-in centres and encampments. The province initially had a two-tier vaccination plan for the homeless shelter system shelter workers were in Phase 1 of Ontario's immunization effort while shelter residents and those living in homeless encampments were part of Phase 2. After calls from advocates to prioritize the homeless, the province shifted those individuals into Phase 1 at the end of last month.

Information about the vaccine and distribution of the vaccine to individuals experiencing homelessness will be available in emergency shelters and through emergency shelter staff.

 

12. What are the different ways an individual can receive the vaccine?

Vaccination for the following groups is currently underway:

Age Group Risk Description Where you can access your vaccine
18 or older People age 18 and older who live in COVID-19 hot spot postal codes (see below) Ontario Health Teams and hospital mobile clinics and pop-ups to be communicated directly to the community.
50 or older People age 50 and older who live in COVID-19 hot spot postal codes (see below) City Immunization Clinics

 

Some Hospital Immunization Clinics are are also booking appointments for adults aged 50 and older who live in hot spot postal codes. Please review the eligibility criteria for each hospital site.

40 and older Adults accessing the AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD vaccine Pharmacies Opens in new window and some primary care providers
60 and older (born in 1961 and earlier) Adults City Immunization Clinics and Hospital Immunization Clinics and some health partner clinics
Adults Residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes Residents are being vaccinated in their homes, at hospitals and other points of care. Essential caregivers and staff may be vaccinated alongside residents or invited to nearby hospital clinics.
Adults Residents, staff and essential caregivers in congregate living settings for seniors, including high-risk retirement homes Residents are being vaccinated in their homes.

 

Essential caregivers and staff may be vaccinated alongside residents or invited to nearby hospital clinics.

Mobile teams are being deployed to congregate care sites from Ontario Health teams.

Adults Residents and staff in other congregate care settings for seniors, including all other retirement homes and assisted living Residents are being vaccinated in their homes.

 

Essential caregivers and staff may be vaccinated alongside residents or invited to nearby hospital clinics.

Adults Frontline health care workers in all risk groups PDF Hospital Immunization Clinics
Adults Adults who are receiving ongoing home care Hospital Immunization Clinics and home visits for homebound clients
Adults First Nations, Métis and Inuit  populations

Hospital Immunization Clinics  and Indigenous-led clinics and mobile teams

Adults People experiencing homelessness staying in shelters at high-risk of outbreaks (on a rolling basis, to be identified by Toronto Public Health and based on vaccine supply and other prioritization criteria) Mobile teams organized by Ontario Health Teams
Adults Faith leaders who as part of their regular role are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 through close contact with persons and families in the following circumstances:

 

  • End of life care
  • Care of the deceased, funerals, bathing, or other ceremony with direct contact with deceased persons
  • Home visits to unwell persons
  • Pastoral care in hospitals/LTCHs/RHS or other vulnerable settings
Hospital Immunization Clinics
Adults People with the following highest-risk health conditions:

 

  • Organ transplant recipients;
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients;
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis);
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed less than one year ago;
  • Kidney disease eGFR< 30; and
  • One essential caregiver for individuals in the groups listed above.
Hospital Immunization Clinics
Adults People with the following high risk health conditions:

 

  • Obesity (BMI > 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)

One essential caregiver is eligible for vaccination for individuals in this group listed above. The caregiver provides regular and sustained assistance with personal care and/or activities of daily living.

Hospital Immunization Clinics
Adults People who live and work in high-risk congregate care settings not included in Phase 1 (e.g. supportive housing), including shelters, respites and encampments People who live or work in these settings may receive their vaccine at the setting or may be eligible to receive their vaccine at one of the Hospital Immunization Clinics. Please review the eligibility criteria for each hospital site.
Adults Eligible education workers who received a letter through their school board Eligible education workers who received a letter through their school board can book by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 starting on Monday, April 12.

 

Vaccination has not started for:

Phase 2 groups not listed above:

  • People with at risk health conditions not listed above and some primary caregivers
  • People who cannot work from home (e.g. teachers, food processing industry, etc.) although planning for a small number of pilots of workplaces has begun

Phase 3:

  • General public (adults 59 years of age and younger, except for adults 55 years of age and older who are accessing the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine at participating pharmacies and adults 50 years of age and older who live in priority neighbourhoods)

 

13. I don’t have a computer, so how can I sign up? How can housebound seniors, the ill or people with disabilities sign up?

Our office is working with the Spadina-Fort York Community Care Program (@spafycc) to set up a system to assist seniors, homebound persons and people without tech access to register for their vaccines. Spafycc is reaching out to residents by phone, but if know someone who needs assistance, please email [email protected].

Volunteers welcome! If you are interested in volunteering to help with this vaccine registration program or our community food program, please sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/spafyccvolunteer.

Homebound Persons

If you are a homebound person receiving care through a Primary Care Provider, Family Health Team, Home or Community Care or Community Support Services or Agencies, please contact your provider to learn whether they are able to offer in-home vaccination. Many teams are beginning to organize or being supported to offer in-home vaccination and will begin to reach out to their patients and/or clients in the coming weeks. If your provider is not able to offer at-home vaccination, they will place your name onto a list for at-home vaccination.

If you are a homebound person who DOES NOT HAVE a Primary Care Provider, Family Health Team, Home or Community Care or Community Support Services, please contact the Toronto Seniors Helpline. The Toronto Seniors Helpline will be available to support homebound people who are 18-65 years old, as well as seniors. They can be contacted at 416-217-2077 or by web chat following instruction at https://torontoseniorshelpline.ca/web-chat/

The online registration system allows for someone to book your vaccination appointments on your behalf. To book your appointments, the person booking on your behalf will need your:

  • Government of Ontario photo health card information
  • birth date
  • postal code
  • email address and/or phone number

For priority health care workers, adults receiving chronic home care, and Indigenous adults: 

Some hospital and healthcare sector clinics are currently providing vaccinations for people who are health care workers, adults who are receiving chronic home care, and Indigenous adults. These people can continue book an appointment for a COVID vaccination at a hospital or health care clinic by visiting the online registration system developed by the health care sector, at: 

www.vaccineto.ca or calling the call centre at 1-888-385-1910

 

14. When will children be vaccinated?

There is limited data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine administration in children under 18 years of age. The vaccine trials were in people over the age of 16 (Pfizer) or 18 (Moderna and AstraZeneca). For children less than 12 years of age, vaccination is not recommended at this time. There are trials currently underway on children aged 12-18 and will soon start trials in kids age 6+.

 

15. When will people with compromised immune systems and those with disabilities under the age of 65 be vaccinated?

Vaccinations in the broader public are expected to ramp up in the coming weeks following the approval of a fourth vaccine and larger shipments coming into the country. As part of Phase 2, vaccines will be offered starting in April to people with specific health conditions, like organ transplant recipients, those living with obesity and those receiving treatments that suppress the immune system. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions may not be able to use the province’s vaccine booking portal or have appointments at mass vaccination sites. Most of these vaccinations will be administered through other channels, such as specialty clinics or through their existing health care providers who already have the individual’s health records on hand.

Residents with highest-risk and high-risk conditions can now book an appointment at Sunnybrook and North York General. This list includes:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (for example, motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30
  • Obesity (BMI over 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (for example, chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (for example, Down Syndrome)

Please only book a vaccine appointment if you meet this eligibility criteria. Please note you may be asked for proof of your eligibility when you arrive.

Booking information here for Sunnybrook.

Booking information here for North York General.

The University Health Network (UHN) is currently taking pre-registrations for certain priority groups requiring their FIRST DOSE ONLY. Please note that a registry is not an appointment. People registering will be contacted by UHN when a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is available.

 

16. When will vaccines be available for pregnant women?

The president of the Ontario Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is applauding the province's move to include pregnant women on its priority list of recipients in the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan. Dr. Constance Nasello says that although pregnant women were excluded from initial trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, there is increasing evidence that the vaccines are safe for them. Ontario health authorities listed pregnancy as a factor putting someone at risk for hospitalization or death from COVID-19 as they released details of the province's vaccination plan Friday. Nasello says there's evidence indicating that while many people who contract COVID-19 while pregnant have mild symptoms, pregnancy is a risk factor for more severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.

The Ministry of Health has said that pregnant individuals in the authorized age group may choose to receive the vaccine after counselling by a health care provider familiar with their pregnancy that includes: (1) a review of the risks and benefits of the vaccine, (2) a review of the potential risks /consequences associated with a COVID infection during pregnancy, (3) a review of the risk of acquiring a COVID infection during pregnancy and (4) an acknowledgment of the insufficiency of evidence for the use of current COVID-19 vaccines in the pregnant population. If, after this counselling , the pregnant individual feels the potential benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential harms, they should be able to access the vaccine.

 

17. Can a household (with people of varying ages and medical conditions) be vaccinated as a group at the same time?

People within a household will have to follow the guidelines as outlined in the Province’s three phases of the vaccine rollout. An “essential caregiver” is specific to congregate care settings such as long-term care, retirement homes, and other congregate care settings for seniors at this time, not personal residences.

 

18. Are Métis considered Indigenous? Will a Métis card suffice as proof?

Vaccination clinic staff will not be asking for status cards. The term “Indigenous” refers to anyone who self-identifies as either First Nations, Métis or Inuit – status cards or any other type of proof of indigeneity is not required.

Indigenous-led clinics in Toronto:

Auduzhe Mino Nesewinong (at Women’s College Hospital)

416-654-4184

Email: [email protected]

 

Anishnawbe Health Toronto

https://aht.ca/

179 Gerrard Street East

416-920-2605

Vaccine Drop In Clinic

Every Thursday 9:30 am until they run out

Appointments not necessary

Vaccines available on a first-come first-served basis

Open to all but priority given to those 55+

 

19. Is there a mobile unit serving seniors buildings that are not long-term care settings?

East Toronto Health Partners developed a mobile vaccination team of physicians, nurses and clinicians who coordinate on-site vaccinations with local East Toronto organizations to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible populations in those settings.

Initially, ETHP’s mobile vaccination team will work with local organizations to offer vaccinations in high-risk congregate settings in East Toronto. When more vaccines become available, the team will travel to other eligible settings and populations to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who cannot easily access it by themselves. This may include:

  • Additional congregate settings for seniors
  • In-home vaccinations for seniors and homebound populations
  • Adult recipients of chronic home care
  • Shelters and supportive housing

Please check www.tehn.ca and www.ethp.ca regularly for updates.

On April 7, 2021 the Ontario government announced that mobile vaccine teams and pop-up clinics are being organized to administer vaccines in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, large employers, and in hot spot neighbourhoods to individuals aged 18 or over. More information on this to come.

Transportation for Seniors/Vulnerable Residents

The City of Toronto announced the Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan to help ensure vulnerable residents and seniors can access COVID-19 vaccinations by making it easier to travel to clinics. This program is intended for those who have limited transportation options or who cannot afford transportation to vaccination appointments. This program is available now for limited appointments, but will continue to be expanded over the coming weeks as additional resources and capacity become available.

To book a ride:

People who receive social assistance may be eligible for medical transportation funds to help cover costs of travel to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Social assistance recipients should contact their caseworker to access transportation funds they may be eligible for.


PART 4: The Vaccine and Your Rights

20. What vaccine will I get?

As the circumstances around the COVID-19 vaccines change frequently, you will not know which brand of vaccine you are getting until you arrive at the vaccination site.

Just like all other vaccines, the one offered to you is the best one based on a variety of factors, including what products are available; what product is approved for your age or health conditions; allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients; and more.

All of the vaccines that we have available for use in Canada are safe and effective.

 

21. Can I choose which vaccine I can get?

No. The vaccine you are offered first is the best vaccine. All of the vaccines that we have available for use in Canada are safe and effective.

While there are many different brands of COVID-19 vaccines now, you cannot choose the specific brand you get. There is no single person or organization that decides what vaccine you will receive – it is based on a variety of factors.

Delaying the vaccine is not recommended as the longer you wait, the longer you remain unprotected and prolong your risk of getting COVID-19. Evidence for all of the vaccines found them to be highly effective against COVID-19 based on clinical trials with thousands of participants.

 

22. Do I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine? What are my rights if I choose not to be vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines will not be mandatory, but you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. People will not be required to reveal their immunization status to others.

 

23. Do you need to have OHIP to receive a vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone in Ontario. For people without a health card, government-issued photo ID (including non-Canadian and expired documents), such as a driver’s license, passport, Status Card, etc., can be used. 

Agents at the provincial call centre are currently not allowing people without health cards to book an appointment. Toronto Public Health is working to correct this issue. Based on current eligibility, you may be able to book via the Hospital Immunization Clinics as they have their own booking systems.

 

24. Should I get the vaccine if I’ve already contracted the virus?

Yes. You would likely have some immunity from the infection but it’s not clear how long that lasts. However, we know how effective the vaccine is. Therefore, even if someone was infected with COVID in the past, they should still get the COVID vaccine.

 

25. If I take the vaccine do I have to take the flu shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the flu vaccine is more important than ever this year, because it not only protects you and the people around you from getting the flu, but fewer cases of the flu also “help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

But if you do plan to get the flu shot, that shot (and any other vaccines) should be separated by at least two weeks.

 

26. Do I still need to wear a mask once I am vaccinated?

After being vaccinated, there is a chance that you may still get COVID-19. Therefore, it is very important to continue to follow public health measures including physical distancing, wearing a mask, and staying home if you are sick. Even after being vaccinated health care workers and others must still wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

27. Can a person with a Visa in the process of becoming a Permanent Resident get vaccinated before they are a resident?

COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are free. They’re available to priority populations first. They’ll then be available to everyone in Canada who is recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health authorities.

This applies to:

  • everyone in Canada, including those who aren’t citizens and who are over the:
    • age of 16 for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
    • age of 18 for the Moderna vaccine
    • age of 18 for the AstraZeneca vaccine
    • age of 18 for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine
  • diplomatic staff and their dependants
  • Canadian Armed Forces personnel that are on active duty abroad

 

28. Will I be able to travel if I am not vaccinated? Will the Federal Government be implementing a “vaccine passport”?

Presently you do not need to be vaccinated to travel outside of Canada, though it is not recommended to travel out of Canada at this time. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that Canada “needs to be part” of the coronavirus vaccine passport conversations currently underway around the world, as some other countries begin to plan for vaccination-certified travel outside their own borders as early as this summer. The Federal government is currently debating the need for vaccine passports when travelling internationally, as other countries may make this a requirement. In the current debate, the Prime Minister has not supported the idea of vaccine passports for domestic travel. 

For more information, please click this link here.


PART 5: Vaccine Safety and Procurement

29. What measures is the Government of Canada taking to ensure that we will have enough vaccines for everyone?

Through advance purchasing agreements with seven companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, Canada has secured enough doses to provide access to vaccines to all Canadians. Canada secured these doses based on the advice of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, a multidisciplinary group of experts and industry leaders in the field of vaccines. The federal government has procured one of the largest vaccine portfolios in the world, signing agreements with 7 vaccine suppliers and 1 international partner. The agreements are as follows:

Authorized for use in Canada:

  • Moderna: 44 million doses
  • Pfizer: Up to 76 million doses
  • AstraZeneca: 22 million doses
  • Johnson & Johnson: Up to 38 million doses (one-dose vaccine)

Undergoing rolling review by Health Canada:

  • Novavax: Up to 76 million doses

Agreements signed:

  • Medicago: Up to 76 million doses
  • Sanofi/GSK: Up to 72 million doses
  • COVAX: Up to 15 million doses

Vaccines will be rolled out in phases as they arrive from manufacturers. The earliest vaccines are expected to arrive between late December 2020 and March 2021 (an estimated 8M doses), and will be delivered to high-risk populations first, with more vaccines arriving over the course of 2021.

Government of Canada has secured access for seven leading vaccine candidates (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Medicago, Novavax, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline)

More information is available here.

 

30. Why does it seem like we are so far behind other countries?

Canada lacks domestic production capacity for vaccines. Additionally, Canada purchased vaccines from European suppliers who are now struggling with supply. There have also been delivery delays and reduced and cancelled orders by both Moderna and Pfizer. In all, Canada is on track to receive at least 36.5-million doses of vaccines by the end of June and a cumulative total 117.9 million doses of vaccines by the end of September from the four currently approved suppliers. 

For more information, please click this link here.

 

31. Is the Federal Government on track to deliver enough vaccines to the Province of Ontario to accommodate a vaccination rate which would accomplish the year-end goal of complete vaccination?

COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in Canada who are recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health bodies. Doses of the vaccines will be distributed in Canada in phases, which began in December 2020. Assuming the continued supply of safe and effective vaccines, it’s expected there will be enough vaccines to immunize everyone for whom vaccines are approved and recommended. We anticipate this will be accomplished by September of 2021.

Delivery schedules will be updated regularly here. As other vaccine candidates are approved, delivery schedules and provincial allocations will be announced.

 

32. What is the timeline for the Johnson & Johnson deliveries to Canada?

With Health Canada’s approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the federal government is in the process of finalizing the delivery schedule of the 10-million doses that have been secured. Deliveries are anticipated to begin in the second quarter of this year and all 10-million doses will be delivered by the end of the third quarter. This is the first and only vaccine in Canada’s vaccine plan that needs only one dose.

Read more on this here.

 

33. Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe with the efficacy being lower than Moderna and Pfizer?

Yes, Health Canada authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine based on a thorough, independent review of the evidence and determined that it meets Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements. As for all medicines, Health Canada will continue to monitor the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Canada closely. Along with the Public Health Agency of Canada and working in close collaboration with the provinces and territories and the manufacturer, we will monitor for any adverse events that may develop after immunization.

Health Canada’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said there is no biological evidence that would show how the vaccine could cause blood clots. The company said a study of more than 17 million patients who received the vaccine did not identify any blood clots that were caused by the vaccine, and Thrombosis Canada also issued a statement saying the vaccine was safe.

Ontario will begin offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 40 and over at pharmacy and primary care settings. The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available only to adults aged 55 and older following the recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

Health Canada maintains that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks of getting COVID-19. The agency has approved the use of the vaccine for those 18 years old and over.

NACI provides recommendations based on the current evidence and evolves their advice as new evidence comes in and are reviewing AstraZeneca advice now.

 

34. Why is the government saying that the two vaccines that require two shots can now be spaced at 4 months apart or delivered as one dose?

This information is based on guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which is an independent, expert panel. In order to maximize the number of people gaining some resistance to COVID-19, the NACI has recommended that second doses can safely be delayed by up to four months.

By implementing an extended four-month interval strategy, Canada will be able to provide access to first doses of highly efficacious vaccines to more individuals earlier which is expected to increase health equity faster. Canada has secured enough vaccines to ensure that a second dose will be available to every adult.

Although effectiveness after two-doses will be somewhat higher than with one dose, many more people will benefit from immunization when extending the interval between doses in times of vaccine shortage; offering more individuals direct benefit and also the possibility of indirect benefit from increasing population immunity to COVID-19 disease. Everyone is expected to obtain the full benefit of two doses when the second dose is offered after 4 months.

More information is available here.

 

35. How can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines? 

As information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination plans continues to evolve, we encourage you to regularly check credible sources for updates, including the following: 

The Federal Government’s webpage on COVID-19 vaccines 

The Province of Ontario’s webpage on COVID-19 vaccines 

The City of Toronto’s webpage on COVID-19 vaccines