COVID-19 Vaccine Update 3

Updated information as of March 7, 2021

Stan Cho

March 7, 2021

If you would like to receive more updates on Ontario's Vaccine Rollout click here.

On Friday, Retired General Hillier announced what he called a “seismic shift” in the vaccine roll-out here is a recap of the latest vaccine news.

Before I get to vaccine details, please note that Toronto will move to the Grey Lockdown stage tomorrow morning, Monday March 8. The stay-at-home orders will expire then. For more information on those restrictions visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions#lockdown

On Friday, the Canadian government approved the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson. We now have four vaccines available in addition to Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. The good thing about the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine is that only one dose is needed to be effective.

Phase 2 of the vaccine roll-out will begin in early April and everyone in this group who wants a vaccine should be able to have one by June 20, 2021.

Phase 2 will include:

  1. People aged 60 years and older;
  2. Those who live in “hot spot” areas (such as the northwest of Toronto with high case numbers of the virus);
  3. People with underlying health conditions such as organ transplant recipients, people with diabetes, cancer patients, etc;
  4. Those who cannot work from home, such as first responders and grocery store workers.

Other important information:

  • An on-line portal will be available for bookings by March 15, 2021 (except for bookings in pharmacies – see below for details);
  • You will NOT need an OHIP card to get a vaccine. If you do not have one, please take a driver’s license or passport with you for your appointment;
  • You are encouraged to take whatever vaccine is offered to you;
  • The first dose of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines lasts approximately four months so if you have had your first dose and are scheduled for a second dose before March 10, you will get your second dose as scheduled. If your second dose is scheduled for March 10 or later, you will need to re-book your appointment. 

There will be three options to receive a vaccine:

  1. Pharmacies. They will have their own booking system so contact your local pharmacy directly and do not use the provincial system for booking at a pharmacy;
  2. Your Family Doctor;
  3. The closest public health vaccine centre: ours will be at Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue
  4. Hospitals including North York General

You are encouraged to arrive for your appointment 10 – 15 minutes ahead of time. Please do not arrive an hour or two ahead of time as you may have to stand in line for your time slot. If you have an appointment, you will get a vaccine.

Please do not leave your health unit and travel to another area. All health units will be given enough doses for everyone.

Please do not try to book an appointment yet if you are not in phase 1 or 2

Details on Phase 3 (will be announced in the coming weeks)

I will continue to update you on important vaccine information as soon as I receive it.  Until we have COVID-19 behind us, please continue to obey public health advice.

Stay safe everyone, we are almost there!