Getting Vaccinated

We're experiencing an increased volume of cases. Learn what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, tested postive for COVID-19, or if you're a contact.

How to get vaccinated

Anyone five years of age and older can get vaccinated against COVID-19. To get their first dose, children must be at least five years of age on the day of their vaccine. For booster doses, individuals must be at least 18 years of age on the day of their vaccine. See more information below.

Get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Niagara at:

  • If you don't have a health card

    Those without a health card can still get vaccinated at:

    • Public Health clinics. To book an appointment, you can either:
      • Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. This booking option is currently only available for children five to 11 years of age without a health card.
      • Fill out our COVID-19 - No Health Card form. If you have questions about filling this out, call our COVID-19 Info-Line at 905-688-8248, press 7 (toll free 1-888-505-6074).
      • Public Health clinics are also accepting walk-ins for certain individuals. See section above for details.
    • Participating pharmacies. The pharmacist will likely ask you for some type of identification and your birth date. Call your pharmacy if you're uncertain about what you need to bring to your appointment.

Third, booster and fourth dose information

Some individuals are eligible for a third dose, booster dose or fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine (see dropdowns below). The terms "third dose" and "booster dose" are not interchangeable. The term third dose is used for those who are immunocompromised and who may have not produced an optimal immune response to the first two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The term booster is used for doses that are meant to restore protection which may have decreased over time. Many other vaccines require a booster.

  • Third doses for those moderately to severely immunocompromised and their booster dose

    The following immunocompromised individuals are eligible to receive a three-dose series of COVID-19 vaccine. If you're referred to a Public Health clinic, bring appropriate proof of eligibility as specified below.

    Eligible individuals and proof of eligibility
    Who When How
    • Individuals receiving dialysis (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis)
    • Individuals receiving active treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy) for solid tumour or hematologic malignancies. Active treatment includes patients who have completed treatment within three months.
    • Recipients of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
    • Recipients of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
    • Individuals with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Individuals with stage three or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

    Individuals receiving active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies:

    • Anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22). Active treatment for patients receiving B-cell depleting therapy includes patients who have completed treatment within 12 months.
    • High-dose systemic corticosteroids
    • Alkylating agents
    • Antimetabolites
    • Tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive

    For a full list of eligible immunosuppressive medications, see Appendix A (page 18) of the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations.

    Recommended third dose at least two months (56 days) after your second dose

    Recommend booster dose (fourth dose) at least three months after your third dose for individuals 18 years of age and older only

    Hospitals, through their clinics, are responsible for vaccinating these individuals. In most cases, this means the hospital will provide eligible individuals with their third dose.

    Health care providers that are administering the vaccine at their office may also provide third doses to their eligible patients.

    In some instances, you may be referred elsewhere for your third dose. See the 'How to get vaccinated' section above. If attending a Public Health clinic, individuals must come with a medical letter from their health care provider or pharmacist that includes:

    • Date and on letterhead
    • Contact information for the clinic, physician, specialist or medical practice of individual completing the form
    • Patient’s name (typed / generic letters will not be accepted)
    • Patient’s eligible condition (or medication) for third dose

    Prescriptions for the eligible immunosuppressant medications can also be presented at Public Health clinics for proof of eligibility.

  • Booster doses for specific populations

    The following individuals are eligible to receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. To receive your booster dose, you must meet the time interval specified in the table below.

    Eligible individuals
    Who When How
    • Individuals aged 18 and over (must be at least 18 on the day of your vaccine)
    • Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings, including long-term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers
    • First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals aged 16 years and older and their non-Indigenous household members aged 16 years and older
    At least three months after your second dose See the 'How to get vaccinated' section above
    • Individuals who received a complete series of AstraZeneca (two doses of AstraZeneca
    At least three months after your second dose See the 'How to get vaccinated' section above
    • Individuals who received a complete series of Janssen (one dose of Janssen)

    At least three months after your first dose

    See the 'How to get vaccinated' section above
    • Residents of high-risk congregate settings, including long-term care homes, higher-risk licensed retirement homes and First Nations elder care lodges

    Recommended at least three months after your second dose

    Public Health will provide COVID-19 vaccine to eligible high-risk congregate settings.
  • Fourth doses (second booster) for specific populations

    The following individuals are eligible to receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. To receive your booster dose, you must meet the time interval specified in the table below.

    Eligible individuals
    Who When How
    • Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, elder care lodges and older adults living in other congregate settings
    At least three months (84 days) after your third (booster) dose Public Health will provide COVID-19 vaccine to eligible high-risk congregate settings.

Re-vaccination

Due to a loss of immunity following therapy or transplant, certain populations are now recommended to be re-vaccinated with a new COVID-19 vaccine primary series post-transplantation. Learn about COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for special populations.

Second dose information

You don't need to have your second dose at the same place you had your first dose. For more information on second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including information for those with a first dose of AstraZeneca, see our frequently asked questions.

  • Optimal interval between first and second doses

    Over a year of data from use of COVID-19 vaccines shows that a longer interval between first and second doses leads to:

    • Greater protection after the second dose
    • Longer lasting protection
    • Fewer side-effects. For youth and young adults, this includes a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.

    The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends the optimal interval between first and second doses for mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) is eight weeks to maximize long-lasting protection and minimize side-effects. If you received your second dose at an interval different from eight weeks you still have very good protection against COVID-19. You don't need to restart your series.

    Some may choose to receive their second dose of vaccine at earlier than eight weeks in order to get earlier protection. This is a personal choice and should be based on a personal risk-assessment of whether earlier protection is more important than the small increase in the length and duration of protection, and slightly lower risk of side-effects.

    For example, during a surge of cases when risk is high, someone at risk of severe outcomes might reasonably choose earlier protection during the period of risk is the most important factor.

    The most vulnerable populations at risk for severe outcomes or exposure to COVID-19 include:

    • Adults 60 years old or over
    • People with underlying medical conditions
    • Pregnant individuals
    • Residents and staff of congregate living settings
    • Adults in Indigenous communities
    • Adults in racialized and marginalized communities
    • Health care workers and first responders
    • Frontline essential workers who cannot work virtually

    Children five to 11 years of age may similarly receive their second dose at a minimum 21 days from their first dose. To book a second dose at this shorter interval, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

    While the first dose provides some protection, the second dose is needed for full protection. All individuals should continue to follow measures to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19.

    If you have questions, contact your health care provider or our COVID-19 Info-Line at 905-688-8248, press 7 (toll free 1-888-505-6074).

Before going for your vaccine

Find out what you need to know before your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Reasons to reschedule

Re-schedule your appointment if one of the following applies to you:

  • In the past 10 days, you or anyone in your household had COVID-19 symptoms. In this scenario, you can still come to your appointment if you tested negative on a rapid antigen or PCR test on the SAME day as your appointment, and don't currently have any symptoms.
  • In the past 10 days, you or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19 either through a rapid antigen or PCR test
  • In the past 10 days, you've been in close contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has received a positive test result. In this scenario, you can still come to your appointment if you tested negative on a rapid antigen or PCR test on the SAME day as your appointment, and don't currently have any symptoms.
  • In the past 14 days, you travelled outside of Canada and were advised to quarantine

You can reschedule your appointment online or by calling 1-833-943-3900.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine

Ontario has made available a very limited supply of the single dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine. Every effort should be made to immunize with an mRNA vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine should only be used when an mRNA vaccine is declined and after informed consent.

Individuals interested in accessing a dose should contact the Niagara Region Public Health COVID-19 Info-Line at 905-688-8248, press 7, then 2, to be added to a waitlist. These vaccines are available in limited quantities. There is no guarantee that a Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single dose vaccine will be available.

Protect yourself

Please continue to follow all public health guidelines to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

More information


For questions about COVID-19 vaccination, call the COVID-19 Info-Line at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074, press 7.