Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine now available in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districtsIssued: Monday, September 12, 2022
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is pleased to share that Moderna’s new bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, which offers protection against COVID-19 infection and includes the Omicron variant, is available for certain eligible groups in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts as of today, Monday, September 12, 2022, and for everyone over the age of 18 as of Monday, September 26.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 remains a simple and critical layer of protection to stay healthy this fall,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Many people have not received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, or it has been more than 6 months since their last vaccination. Whether you have already received one or two booster doses, or you have been waiting for the new bivalent vaccine, getting a fall bivalent booster dose will increase your immunity at a time when COVID-19 cases are expected to increase, along with other respiratory diseases. Booster doses are safe, and they work,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
For the first two weeks starting September 12, vaccine is reserved for those who are higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as well as for health care providers. By September 26, vaccine supplies will be sufficient to offer the bivalent booster vaccine to everyone aged 18 and older.
Groups eligible as of Monday, September 12:
- residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges, and individuals living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services
- individuals aged 70 years and older
- individuals who are 12 years and older with moderately to severely immunocompromising conditions
*Note: For this group, a booster dose of the bivalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be offered off-label based on clinical discretion due to high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
- adults 18 years and older who identify as First Nation, Inuit, and Métis, and their non-Indigenous household members who are 18 years and older.
- pregnant individuals who are aged 18 years and older
- health care workers who are aged 18 and older
Individuals listed in the groups above who have completed, at minimum, their primary COVID-19 vaccine series (in general, two doses) regardless of the number of booster doses received, can book appointments for clinics occurring Monday, September 12 and beyond. A limited number of walk-in appointments will also be available to people in these groups as of September 12.
Groups eligible as of Monday, September 26:
- Anyone over the age of 18 who has, at a minimum, completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series (in general, two doses) regardless of the number of booster doses received.
- Individuals 18 and older will be eligible to book an appointment for clinics occurring Monday, September 26 and beyond. A limited number of walk-in appointments for the bivalent vaccine will also be available to this group September 26 and beyond.
Time between doses
The recommended interval between receiving a previous COVID-19 vaccine dose and this new bivalent mRNA COVID-19 booster dose is 6 months. Individuals can choose to get their booster dose after a minimum of 3 months, with informed consent. A longer time between doses may result in a better immune response to the subsequent dose. Public Health also suggests that people wait 6 months after a COVID-19 infection to get their next dose; however, at minimum, a 3-month interval is possible with informed consent. A longer interval between infection and vaccination may result in a better immune response.
- Public Health strongly recommends that all older adults and people with underlying illnesses get a bivalent booster dose as soon as possible regardless of the number of booster doses they previously received.
- All individuals 5 years and older are encouraged to consider a booster dose to help build long-term protection against COVID-19 infection.
- For adults 18 years and older, the Moderna bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is preferred over the original monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for fall booster doses.
- Individuals 12 to 17 years of age who are immunocompromised may be offered the bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA COVID-19 booster doses off-label. Individuals 12 to 17 years of age who are not immunosuppressed will be offered the original monovalent mRNA vaccine for their booster dose (Pfizer-BioNTech preferred).
- The original mRNA COVID-19 vaccines remain available at Public Health’s clinics.
- Bivalent booster doses and other COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as the influenza (flu) vaccine or at any interval before or after other vaccines for individuals 5 years of age and older.
- COVID-19 vaccines are recommended and available for all individuals 6 months and older.
Contact your health care provide to ask about which vaccine to receive or to discuss whether the vaccine is right for you.
Book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment
Locally, Public Health Sudbury & Districts, select pharmacies, and some health care partners offer COVID-19 vaccination. Participating pharmacies will also offer the Moderna Spikevax bivalent COVID-19 vaccine beginning the week of September 19, 2022, or possibly sooner if supply allows. Long-term care, retirement home and Elder Care Lodge residents may receive their bivalent booster dose directly through the congregate home where they live.
As of September 12, 2022, appointments can be booked for the bivalent Omicron-containing COVID-19 vaccine booster. For the first two weeks, appointments and a limited number of walk-in opportunities will only be available to those in the highest-risk groups noted above. However, while part of the first round of eligibility, pregnant individuals and health care workers will need to call and book an appointment or walk-in to a clinic from September 12 to 25. The online booking system will not work for these individuals until September 26. Appointments from September 26 onward are available to all eligible individuals aged 18 and older.
Please note that if you booked an appointment before September 12, 2022, there is no need to rebook. If eligible, you will be offered the Moderna Spikevax bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine, but you can still receive the original mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty and Moderna Spikevax) as a booster if preferred. New appointment opportunities continue to be added to the system, so be sure to check back often if appointments are not available on the day you check.
To book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or call 705.522.9200 (toll-free: 1.866.522.9200) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. The provincial booking system will only book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccine at recommended intervals, not minimum intervals. If you would like an appointment at the minimum interval, you must call to book. Visit phsd.ca to learn more about current COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and timing of doses.
Up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination combined with use of the Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ COVID-19 Risk Index and multiple layers of personal protection are critical to continue to protect your health and the health care system.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit phsd.ca or call 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).