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COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine remains the best defence against COVID-19 as it reduces the risk of infection, long-term complications (long COVID), and getting seriously sick or being hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection.

The benefits of being protected against COVID-19 far outweigh the risk of any side effects from the vaccine.

XBB-containing COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are available now.

A fall dose of the XBB formulation is recommended for individuals 6 months and older (providing it has been 6 months from a known SARS-CoV-2 infection) to give the best immune response against currently circulating COVID-19 strains.

Evidence suggests the protection you get from COVID-19 vaccines and/or previous COVID-19 infection decreases over time. The current recommendation is to receive a Fall 2023 COVID-19 vaccine to maintain immunity and offer protection against infection (including long COVID), serious illness, hospitalization and death.

Individuals who have NOT been previously vaccinated may use the XBB formulation to start their series.

Individuals who have been previously vaccinated are strongly recommended to receive a dose of XBB formulation if it has been 6 months since their previous dose or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (whichever is later).

It's natural to worry about your health and the health of your unborn baby during pregnancy. COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective at protecting against:
  • severe illness
  • hospitalization
  • ICU admission

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) strongly recommends individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding receive a dose of COVID-19 XBB.1.5. vaccine this fall if it has been 6 months since their previous dose or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (whichever is later)

Additional resources

Individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada (HC) (while in another country) may need additional doses to stay up-to-date.

If an individual 6 months of age and older has been vaccinated with one or more non-Health Canada approved vaccine(s), they are recommended to receive a dose of the COVID-19 XBB.1.5 vaccine at a recommended interval of 6 months since their last vaccine dose or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (whichever is later). It is particularly important for those individuals at high-risk from COVID-19, including those with a potential for greater impact from infection, to receive a dose of the XBB formulation.

The Ontario Ministry of Health, along with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), continues to recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to individuals with previous COVID-19 infection without contraindications to the vaccine.

A previous infection is defined as:

  • confirmed by a molecular (e.g., PCR) or rapid antigen test, or;
  • symptomatic AND a household contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Available vaccines

All residents will receive an age-appropriate Health Canada approved vaccine. All COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada are proven safe and effective.

The type of COVID-19 vaccine you will receive depends on current inventory and your age.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends mRNA vaccines as the preferred vaccine type for all age groups.

The type of mRNA vaccine you will receive depends on the inventory available on the day of your immunization along with your age.

Novavax  is a protein-based vaccine and may be given to those 12 years and older (without contraindications to the vaccine) who are not willing or able to receive mRNA vaccines.

An XBB.1.5 formulation of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is now available.

For more information call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


COVID-19 Communications Resources: Vaccine Facts - Ministry of Health of Ontario

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources - Toronto Public Health
  • Video series - FAQ’s about COVID-19 vaccines for kids (Dr Leah Bartlett and Dr Asif Kazmi)

Page last updated January 5, 2024

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