With many waiting online on Monday for hours to try and snag a second COVID-19 vaccine appointment, the City of Toronto announced on Tuesday that it would be adding 30,000 appointments on Wednesday.
According to the City, the new appointments will be for the Moderna vaccine only, marking the first time they have offered Moderna rather than exclusively Pfizer vaccine in its immunization clinics.
The additional time slots will be available online starting Wednesday, June 16 at 8 am for vaccination between June 22 and 27.
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“We are doing everything we can as [a] city with the supply we have from the other governments to help people get vaccinated,” said Mayor John Tory. “These additional appointments next week will help more people get vaccinated as soon as possible. We are making tremendous progress on getting residents vaccinated, and we are determined for that progress to continue across the city so we can bring this pandemic to an end.”
In a release, the City added that those who book these new Moderna appointments at City-operated clinics will not be able to choose a different vaccine at their appointment.
“When the additional appointments are made available tomorrow morning, the provincial booking system will not indicate that a Moderna-specific appointment is being booked at the time of booking. Eligible individuals should be aware that almost all available appointments as of tomorrow will be for Moderna doses,” said the City.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are incredibly similar with near-identical efficacy rates.
Additionally, a “mixed mRNA model” – mixing Pfizer and Moderna for the first and second dose – is approved by both the federal and provincial governments.
As for the age groups, Moderna is approved for use in anyone over 18 years of age; youth aged 12 to 17 years old will only receive Pfizer.
So far in the vaccine rollout, Toronto’s Moderna supply was allocated to hospital partners.
The city said the additional 30,000 doses are coming from a larger expected delivery of Moderna that the entire city will receive later this week.
On Monday, the Province opened accelerated second dose bookings to individuals who received a first dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine on or before May 9 (previously April 18 and earlier). In addition to people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine eight weeks or more ago (previously 12 weeks or more).
Appointments for City-run clinics can be booked by residents through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.