Getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Learn when and where you can book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.

This page will be updated regularly. Last updated: June 17, 2022

Who can get vaccinated

All individuals aged five and over are eligible to book an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting vaccinated and staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and our communities from COVID-19 and its variants.

You can book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for:

  • yourself
  • a family member, friend or someone whose medical care and appointments you manage

For all vaccine doses, when eligibility is defined by age, individuals must be that age or older on the day of vaccination.

First Dose

Children (ages five to 11)

  • Pfizer: recommended
  • Moderna (ages six to 11): informed consent should include awareness of the possible elevated risk of myocarditis/pericarditis compared to Pfizer

Vaccines available to youth (ages 12 to 17)

  • Pfizer: recommended
  • Moderna: informed consent should include awareness of the possible elevated risk of myocarditis/pericarditis compared to Pfizer

Vaccines available to adults (18+)

  • Pfizer: recommended for individuals ages 12 to 29
  • Moderna

Upon request, or if you have an allergy or contraindication to mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna), you can get Novavax. You must request this vaccine through your public health unit, health care provider or local participating pharmacy (two doses are required to complete a primary series).

If you have an allergy or contraindication to all the authorized vaccines listed above  (Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax), you can get Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). You must request this vaccine through your public health unit, health care provider or local participating pharmacy. Only one dose is required, with a booster shot recommended after three months or 84 days.

Second dose

For Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax, two doses are required to complete a primary series.

Vaccines can be safely mixed. All vaccine options:

  • are safe
  • provide strong protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and its variants

Children, youth and adults (ages five+)

It is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) that you wait eight weeks after your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before getting your second dose, as evidence suggests that a longer interval between doses results in a stronger immune response and higher vaccine effectiveness. This interval may be associated with a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.

Booster doses

Dose numbers for booster doses may vary depending on an individual’s primary series or specific circumstance. The majority of Ontarians received a two-dose primary series (Moderna, Pfizer and/or AstraZeneca), so their first booster (Moderna or Pfizer) would be considered their third dose, and a second booster would be considered their fourth dose.

Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are eligible for a three-dose primary series, so their first booster would be considered their fourth dose, and their second booster would be considered their fifth dose.

First booster (third dose)

A first booster (third dose) will help protect you from more severe outcomes from COVID-19 and its variants. All Ontarians are strongly encouraged to get their booster dose as soon as possible to keep up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.

Children (ages five to 11)

A booster dose is not currently recommended for children aged five to 11.

Youth (ages 12 to 17)

If you are aged 12 to 17, you can schedule your first booster (Pfizer recommended) at an interval of six months (168 days) after a second dose. You must be at least 12 years old on the day of your vaccination.

Adults (18+)

If you are 18 and over, you can schedule your first booster appointment at an interval of three months (84 days) after your second dose.

Second booster (fourth dose)

You can receive a second booster (fourth dose) at a recommended interval of five months (140 days) after your first booster or at a minimum of three months (84 days) after your first booster if you are:

  • 60 years old or older
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals aged 18 and over or a non-Indigenous household member aged 18 and over 

Learn where you can book or get a second booster.

If you choose to receive your second booster as early as three months (84 days) after your first booster, please book this dose through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 or directly through public health units that use their own booking systems.

Special Populations

You can receive a second booster (fourth dose) three months (84 days) after your first booster dose if you are:

  • a resident of a long-term care home
  • a resident of a retirement home
  • a resident of an elder care lodge
  • older adults living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services

Public health units will work with these homes who will offer second boosters on-site within your home or arrange for a visit from a mobile clinic.

Three-dose primary series and boosters for individuals who are immunocompromised

Some individuals who are immunocompromised can get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their second dose as part of an extended primary series. This includes eligible children aged five to 11 years old.

Eligible immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and over can receive a first booster (fourth dose) after their third dose:

  • 12 to 17 years old can get a first booster six months (168 days) after completion of the three-dose primary series
  • 18 years and over can get a first booster three months (84 days) after completion of the three-dose primary series

A booster dose is not currently recommended for immunocompromised individuals under 12 years old.

In addition, it is recommended that eligible immunocompromised individuals receive a second booster (fifth dose) five months (140 days) after their first booster or at a minimum of three months (84 days) after their first booster if they are also:

  • aged 60 and over
  • residents of a long-term care home, retirement home, or Elder Care Lodge
  • older adults living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis individual or their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over

You might be eligible if you are:

  • a transplant recipient (including solid organ transplant and hematopoietic stem cell transplants)
  • receiving stable, active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy) for a malignant hematologic disorder or solid tumor
  • in receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell
  • an individual with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (for example, DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • undergoing active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies: anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22), high-dose systemic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive or are taking specific immunosuppressant medications (PDF)
  • receiving dialysis (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis)

Contact your health care provider to see if you are eligible for a three-dose primary series and recommended booster doses.

Appointments can be booked through all vaccine channels.

Eligible individuals who are vaccinated outside their speciality clinic or health care provider will need to provide their prescription, prescription vial or a referral from a health care professional at the time of their appointment to verify that they are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Speak with your health care provider if you have received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, hematopoietic cell transplant (autologous or allogeneic) or have had CAR-T cell therapy following COVID-19 vaccination, as you may be recommended to be re-vaccinated due to loss of immunity following therapy or transplant.

Booking a vaccine after having COVID-19

If you’ve already had had COVID-19, you should still be vaccinated for protection from reinfection. 

Even if you’ve recovered from COVID-19, you are not immune and can still get the virus, be contagious while not showing any symptoms, and spread it to others in your community. With the spread of new and transmissible variants, it is important that you get vaccinated to protect yourself and those around you from serious illness, hospitalization and death. 

Individuals who have had COVID-19 may wait to get their next dose for up to six months after having COVID-19. Optimal timing can be discussed with a health care provider and depends on age, number of doses received and health status.

You may also receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are asymptomatic and have completed your isolation period after being sick with COVD-19. However, longer intervals between infection and vaccination may result in a better immune response.

Where to get your vaccine

If you are eligible, you can book any of your vaccine doses:

  • at participating pharmacies
  • through the provincial booking system
  • by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007)
  • with the GO-VAXX bus 
  • directly through public health units that use their own booking system
  • through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics
  • at select primary care settings
  • at hospital clinics (visit your local hospital or public health unit for booking details, if available in your region)
  • through mobile or pop-up clinics, (visit your local public health unit website for details, if available in your region)
  • at your retirement home, long-term care home, elder care lodge, or congregate living setting (public health units will work with the homes to give you your shot within your home or at a mobile clinic)

If you book a vaccine through another channel, make sure to cancel your original appointment so that you do not take up a slot for someone else.

For all vaccine doses, when eligibility is defined by age, individuals must be the that age or older on the day of their vaccination.

Registering your vaccination if you got it out of the province

If you received a COVID-19 vaccine outside of Ontario or Canada, you can register your vaccination(s) by contacting your local public health unit (PHU).

You must provide proof, such as an immunization record or a proof of vaccination certificate to your PHU to be registered in the system.
If needed, you can book your second dose or booster through:

  • the provincial booking system or calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre
  • a participating pharmacy
  • your primary care setting
  • public health units that use their own booking system

If you have applied to have your out of province vaccination(s) registered with your public health unit and are waiting to have them uploaded, you can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to book your next vaccine appointment if you fit the following criteria:

  • you have an Ontario health card or COVID ID (a unique number assigned to you by your public health unit in place of an Ontario health card number)
  • your public health unit uses the provincial booking system
  • you are able to bring your out of province vaccination receipts to your vaccination appointment for validation

If you received both doses of a Health Canada authorized vaccine, you only have to provide proof of vaccination to your PHU. No other action is needed. If you received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, please contact your public health unit to see if you need any additional doses.

For more information, read the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated Outside of Ontario/Canada.

Why you should register your vaccination

If you get any COVID-19 vaccines outside of Ontario, you should register it so you can:

Using the provincial online vaccine booking system

To use the provincial online  booking system, you need:

  • a green photo health (OHIP) card (you will need numbers from both sides of the card, expired cards will be accepted)
  • an email address and/or a phone number to book your appointment (your own or someone helping you)
  • a modern web browser (the system is not compatible with Internet Explorer 11 or earlier)

If you forgot your appointment information

If you scheduled a vaccination through the provincial booking system and forgot when or where your appointment is, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007). This line is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.

You will need your:

  • health card (information on the front and back)
  • postal code

Help with the provincial online vaccine booking system

For help with your booking through the provincial  booking system, please:

  • visit our booking support page
  • call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007)
    • information is available in more than 300 languages
    • this line is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week