The bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine became available near the end of 2022 to protect against the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Omicron variants now represent nearly all COVID-19 cases and the bivalent booster is designed to provide targeted protection against these variants.

Unfortunately, many seniors have not received an updated dose of COVID-19 vaccine, leaving them vulnerable to infection and potentially severe illness. We know protection against COVID-19 from vaccination can decrease over time. Booster doses are critically important, especially for those most vulnerable to the disease. However, less than 50% of York Region residents aged 60 years and older have received this important vaccine. For those who received the bivalent booster, more than six months may have passed since their last dose.

Hundreds of people are still admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 every week in Ontario, and deaths due to COVID-19 continue to be reported every day. COVID-19 still circulates in our communities and the risk remains, especially for older individuals and people with underlying health conditions. 

The following groups are strongly recommended to receive a bivalent booster if they:

  • Are 5 years of age or older and have not yet received a bivalent booster dose
  • Received a bivalent booster dose six months ago or longer, AND are any of the following:

o   65 years of age or older

o   A resident of a long-term care home, retirement home, congregate setting for seniors or elder care lodge

o   Pregnant

o   Immunocompromised (18 years and older)

o   55 years of age or older and identify as (or share a household with) a First Nations, Inuit or Metis individual

COVID-19 booster doses are given six months after either the last dose or a confirmed COVID-19 infection.

If you are interested in an on-site clinic from York Region Public Health or if you have any questions about COVID-19 and vaccines, please contact us at [email protected]

Please share the attached fact sheet and poster with anyone looking for more information. People can also visit or call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 for more information and to book an appointment.

Bivalent booster doses are also available at pharmacies and through participating doctor’s offices and clinics.

The primary series of COVID-19 vaccines is also still available for everyone 6 months of age and older.