Boosters coming

Second doses of a Covid vaccine are essential to minimize fourth wave

The India variant is growing fast, but our approved vaccines are effective against it

Now that the first vaccine shots are well over 60 per cent of Ontario’s population, there’s a lot of talk of where and how to get a second dose. Yesterday, the province began rolling out the second doses faster with the hopes of getting most of the population fully vaccinated by the end of August. Second doses will be available according to age group.

In addition, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)  just announced that those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca can get a second dose of AstraZeneca or a mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna. And for those who got a first dose of either mRNA vaccine, the second doses should be viewed as interchangeable. Meaning, if you got Pfizer the first time around, either Pfizer or Moderna is fine for the second dose.

To help clear up any other questions, here are some more details about second doses.

Older Age Groups First

People over the age of 80 should be able to book a second vaccine shot now. Following the 80+ group, people over the age of 70 will have a chance to book and the trend will continue downwards with each age group. Residents of long-term care homes, Indigenous people, high-risk healthcare workers, and those with pre-existing medical conditions should also be able to book a second shot.

This time around, eligibility for your second shot will depend entirely on when you receive your first shot. The timeline is as follows:

  • First Shot on March 8: April 18, you will be eligible to book second doses beginning the week of June 28
  • First Shot on May 9: week of July 19
  • First Shot On May 10 – May 30: week of August 2
  • First Shot On May 31+: week of August

AstraZeneca Shots 

If your first shot was AstraZeneca, you will be able to book a second dose 12-weeks from your first shot at a participating pharmacy or with a physician that is administering AstraZeneca doses. For detailed information about these shots, visit

There is some concern over a fourth pandemic wave that could occur in the fall with the growth of the so-called India variant, B.1.617.2., which has caused a recent uptick in cases in Britain since its reopening earlier this spring.

Studies have shown that all the vaccines approved for use in Canada are effective against the India variant, although to varying degrees. And, the second dose is essential in this regard, to offer full protection.

Booking Ahead of Time to Secure Date 

At this time, it is not possible to book an appointment for your second shot ahead of time. You will have to wait until your age group time window to book a spot. However, you do not need to go to the same shot location that you went to the first time. So, if you want to go to a different spot to book a vaccine, you can do this when it is your time to book.

Cancelling Original Booking

Your original second dose date will be automatically cancelled when you book your new date if you booked through the provincial website. If you booked through a separate system (hospital, pharmacy, etc.) than was used the first time, you will need to cancel your original appointment.

Where and How to Book When It’s Your Time

You can book your second shot through this website: OR by phone by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO