Bivalent COVID-19 booster shot available to all adults in Ontario starting Monday
Published Sunday, September 25, 2022 12:23PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 26, 2022 7:44AM EDT
Adults in Ontario will be able to receive Moderna's bivalent booster dose, which specifically targets the Omicron variants, starting on Monday.
Since mid-September, residents aged 18 and up were able to book an appointment for the booster through the province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. However, the first available appointments begin tomorrow, Sept. 26.
Eligible individuals can also book an appointment through public health units that use their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics or through participating health-care providers and pharmacies.
Residents can receive the bivalent booster at a recommended interval of six months from their previous dose, or at a minimum interval of three months, regardless of how many booster doses they have received.
“COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are the best tool to keep people healthy and out of hospitals, and to ensure Ontario’s economy stays open as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones said in a statement provided in a news release on Sunday.
Moderna's bivalent vaccine was first rolled out on Sept. 12 to individuals aged 70 and up, as well as residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and other congregate settings, among others.
Dr. Vinita Dubey, Toronto’s associate medical officer of health, says the bivalent vaccine was made specifically for the BA.1 Omicron subvariant, but should provide strong protection against all subvariants, including the BA.5 which is currently the dominant strain.
“We know that even though the next variant might not even be a BA.5, we haven't needed the exact match to get good protection from the vaccines and so that's why we think that even with this BA.1 variant in the vaccine you will get some cross protection for an anticipated new variant that may be coming,” Dubey told CTV News Toronto earlier this month.
On Sept. 26, the province will also start to administer Pfizer's paediatric vaccine for children aged six months to under five years old.
The vaccine is a three-dose primary series, with a recommended interval of eight weeks between doses.
Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine is the second to be approved in Canada for children in that age group after Moderna’s vaccine was approved in July.
“Mixing products for your infant or child’s primary series doses is not recommended. Your child should receive the same product for all their primary series doses, whether it is Pfizer or Moderna,” the Ministry of Health says.
Parents and caregivers can continue booking appointments through the same methods used for the bivalent vaccine.