Primary Series Recommendations for Those Who Are Not Immunocompromised
Individuals 6 months and older are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Eligible individuals are recommended to receive an mRNA vaccine for their primary series due to the excellent protection they provide against severe illness and hospitalization, and their well-known safety profiles. Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty and Moderna Spikevax are examples of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. For these vaccines, two doses are required to complete your primary series. If Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty is used for children under 5 years of age, then three doses are required to complete a primary series.
Novavax Nuvaxovid is a recombinant protein subunit (non mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine is available for people 18 years of age and older, who have not been able, due to contraindications, or not willing to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible individuals may request an appointment to receive a Novavax Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine. Like mRNA vaccines, a Novavax Nuvaxovid primary series is a 2-dose series.
A 2 month (56 day) interval between the first and second dose is recommended as it allows for a more robust and durable immune response and higher vaccine effectiveness and may be associated with a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis in adolescents and young adults. Children aged 6 months to under 5 years who receive an mRNA vaccine should wait at least 14 days before or after a different vaccine. For information about COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth, please see Child and Youth Vaccination Toolkit.
Primary series recommendations for immunocompromised individuals
Individuals who are aged 6 months or older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (Government of Ontario, PDF, pages 7-9) are recommended to receive a three-dose primary series (Government of Ontario, PDF) to provide better immunity. If Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty is used for children under 5, then four doses are required to complete the primary series.
A third or fourth monovalent dose (if applicable) is recommended to be given at a 2 month (56 day) interval between each dose.
Booster dose(s) are recommended based on the ongoing risk of infection, the risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and the impacts on health system capacity from the COVID-19 pandemic. Booster doses improve the immune response and provide better and longer lasting protection.
Individuals are recommended to receive an mRNA vaccine for their primary series and their booster dose(s). mRNA vaccines are either monovalent (one strain of COVID-19) or bivalent (two strains of COVID-19). Bivalent vaccines target both the original SARS Co-V-2 virus and specified Omicron variants. The bivalent mRNA vaccines provide improved protection against circulating Omicron variants as compared with the original mRNA vaccine.
Children aged 5 to 11 years are currently eligible to receive a single booster dose of monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine. The recommended interval for receiving your booster dose is 6 months (168 days) after your last dose.
Those aged 12 years and older are eligible to receive a bivalent booster at the recommended interval of 6 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, regardless of the number of booster doses received previously. For those 12 to 17 years old, bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty is the only authorized bivalent product. For those aged 18 years and older, either bivalent Moderna Spikevax or bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty may be used.
A bivalent booster dose is strongly recommended for the following high-risk groups at an interval of 3 months from their last dose:
- Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges, and individuals living in other congregate settings that are 12 years and older
- Individuals aged 65 years and older
- Individuals who are 12 years and older with moderately to severely immunocompromising conditions
- Individuals 12 years and older with an underlying medical condition (Government of Ontario, PDF, page 11) that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness
- Adults who identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis and their adult non-Indigenous household members
- Adults in racialized and/or marginalized communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19
- Pregnant individuals
- Health care workers
Public Health keeps a limited supply of the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) (Government of Canada) vaccine and the Novavax Nuvaxovid vaccine (Government of Canada). The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine may be offered to individuals with contraindications. Novavax Nuvaxovid may be offered to individuals without contraindications who are not able or willing to receive an mRNA vaccine. Eligible individuals, who are over the age of 18 years old, may request an appointment to receive a non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
It is important to keep your COVID-19 vaccinations up to date, which includes getting any booster dose when eligible. If you are eligible to receive your vaccine, book a vaccine appointment now.
Vaccination after COVID-19 infection
COVID-19 vaccination is still recommended regardless if you have had a COVID-19 infection. Immunity from an infection will not last and you can get COVID-19 again.
Individuals 6 months of age and older who are not considered moderately to severely immunocompromised that were infected with COVID-19 before starting or completing their primary series should wait 2 months (56 days) after symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic) before receiving their next dose.
Immunocompromised individuals should wait 1 to 2 months (28 to 56 days) before continuing their primary series and consult their primary care provider to determine the best timeline to continue vaccination.
Most individuals 5 years and older infected with COVID-19 after their primary series should wait 6 months (168 days) to get their next booster dose; however, a 3-month (84 day) interval is possible with informed consent. A longer interval between infection and vaccination may result in a better immune response.
If you have received a vaccine outside of Ontario/Canada
Please report your COVID-19 vaccination(s) in the provincial database (COVaxON) or contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts to have your immunization record updated. We will require proof of vaccination, for example, an immunization record or proof of vaccine certificate (PVC). Please contact us at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Once we have updated your immunization record and reviewed the details of the specific vaccine you received, you will be able to book your next vaccine appointment via telephone or online.
For more information, read the COVID-19 Guidance for individuals vaccinated outside of Ontario / Canada (Government of Canada).
Re-vaccination is recommended (Government of Ontario, PDF) with a new three-dose primary series and booster dose of the of the COVID-19 vaccine given the loss of immunity following:
- hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT)
- hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) (autologous or allogeneic)
- CAR-T-cell therapy
Contact your health care provider if any of the above conditions apply to you after your COVID-19 vaccination. You may be recommended to be re-vaccinated due to loss of immunity following therapy or transplant. This is determined in consultation with your clinical team. If it is determined that you need to restart your primary series, bring a copy of the referral form to your vaccination appointments, indicating that you are restarting your primary series.