COVID-19 information for adults with 22q

Toronto General Hospital still requires that essential care partners who bring patients to medical appointments be vaccinated.

Disclaimer: These information pages are provided for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns, please discuss them with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Bivalent vaccines

Updated November 21st, 2022

The Moderna Spikevax Bivalent vaccine that targets both the SARS-CoV2 (the original “COVID-19 virus”) and the Omicron BA.1 variant is now available.

Starting Monday, October 17th, individuals aged 12 and over can receive the bivalent vaccine.
Book an appointment anywhere in Ontario

The bivalent vaccine is being offered as a booster dose, so you can only get it if you have already completed a primary series.

Booster doses will be offered at a recommended interval of six months, or a minimum interval of three months, since the last dose (original or bivalent) received. To book an appointment at a three-month interval, please call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. The Ontario Medical Association has confirmed that it is safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same time.

Timing Your COVID-19 Booster Dose And Flu Shot

If you need help booking a vaccination appointment, please call us at (416) 340-5145 or email us at 22q@uhn.ca.

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Who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Updated September 25th, 2022.

In Ontario, everyone aged six months and older is eligible to receive a COVID‑19 vaccine.

Our Clinic recommends that all individuals with 22q as well as their family members receive all the vaccine doses (including boosters) for which they are eligible.

  1. All individuals with 22q should receive the vaccine. The primary series plus the booster doses protect very well against the worst effects of the virus.
  2. Individuals with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency should receive additional doses.
  3. All close contacts (e.g., immediate family members) of individuals with 22q should also receive the vaccine, in order to protect the person in the family likely to be most in danger of getting very sick from the virus (that is, the person with 22q).
  4. Individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection should still receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Women who are breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy should get the COVID-19 vaccines.
  6. People who experienced severe, immediate allergic reactions after a first dose of COVID-19 should discuss their situation with a doctor.
    • You may be eligible to receive a different vaccine (search for the Vaccine Type section on Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccines website)

Please note that there are very few acceptable medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination.

For more information and to book your vaccination appointment, please visit the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 vaccines page.

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Information about COVID-19 Vaccines

All the COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada give excellent protection against the COVID-19 disease. None of them contain any live virus. They cannot cause disease. So they are safe for people with immune deficiencies, just as they are for everyone else in the general population. Even for people who don’t make antibodies very well, the vaccine will help protect against the COVID-19 disease.

If you have any concerns, please check with your doctor. You can also call the VaxFacts Clinic of the Scarborough Health Network to book a phone appointment. VaxFacts is an opportunity for a one-to-one, judgement-free phone call with a physician, to address any questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. They have successfully counselled hundreds of patients in the past couple of months and have now opened up to all of Canada.

See also:
Myocarditis risk is seven times greater with COVID-19 than vaccines

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Booking appointments for vaccination against COVID-19

Updated November 21st, 2022.

Timing Your COVID-19 Booster Dose And Flu Shot

Patients and caregivers who come to Toronto General Hospital

The Outpatient Pharmacy at Toronto General Hospital is offering COVID-19 vaccine services to patients and caregivers on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm. Please call ahead to book an appointment at (416) 340-4075.

Everyone

Book an appointment anywhere in Ontario

Booster doses will be offered at a recommended interval of six months, or a minimum interval of three months, since the last dose (original or bivalent) received. To book an appointment at a three-month interval, please call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 instead of using the website portal.

The City of Toronto offers multiple options including pop-up clinics.

You can also get your vaccine at a GO-VAXX mobile vaccine clinic, which are modified from GO buses. Please check their schedule to see when these clinics will come to your community.

Individuals who have received some vaccine doses outside of Ontario

Please see the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated outside of Ontario/Canada.

Additional Notes

If you need help booking a vaccination appointment, please call us at (416) 340-5145 or email us at 22q@uhn.ca.

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Proof of Vaccination

Updated March 2nd, 2022

Even though many places no longer ask for a proof of COVID-19 vaccination, Toronto General Hospital still requires that essential care partners who bring patients to medical appointments be vaccinated.

Where to get your proof of vaccination

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your healthcare provider.

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COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 symptoms and treatment (Government of Canada website)

Self assessment (Government of Ontario website)

Is it COVID or a cold? How to know as Omicron cases rise (CBC Article)

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How to avoid COVID-19

Updated July 15th, 2022

Although this disease spreads easily, there are a few things you can do to avoid catching it.

  • Avoid being very near another person
    • “Social distance” means keeping about 6 feet apart (2 metres, or 3 big steps)
    • Be especially careful about keeping your distance from other people when you are eating or drinking
  • Wash your hands properly and frequently using soap and water
    • Although hands are lower risk vehicles for passing on COVID-19, they are higher risk for common colds, which share some symptoms with COVID-19.
    • Video: How to wash your hands properly
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wear a mask as an added layer of protection
    • Government of Canada: COVID-19 mask use: How to choose, use and care for a mask
    • Although masks are no longer required in many places in Ontario, a good mask that is worn properly will offer an extra layer of protection when you are indoors or in a crowded situation.
    • Masks are still required for entry into Toronto General Hospital
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands

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Getting tested for COVID-19 in Ontario

Updated July 15th, 2022

Even if you think your symptoms are part of another known health condition, it is recommended that you still get tested for COVID-19 to rule it out. COVID-19 can happen at the same time as other health conditions.

PCR Test

Who is eligible for PCR testing

COVID-19 testing locations and clinical assessment centres

Rapid Antigen Tests

Individuals in Ontario can obtain free rapid antigen tests (RATs) at grocery stores and pharmacies. To find out where to get a test and how to use it, please visit the government’s website on Rapid testing for at-home use.

Rapid antigen tests using nasal samples are less sensitive for the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant. In order to receive a reliable result, individuals should collect oral-nasal samples. Please have a look at:

This CBC article contains the following information:

  • When should I use a rapid test?
  • What does a negative result mean?
  • Should I use a rapid test before an event?
  • What’s the best technique for taking a test?
  • How many test kits should I keep at home?
  • Where to find a free rapid test in your province or territory

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Policies on self-isolation and quarantine

Updated September 1st, 2022:

If you are in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, continue to self-monitor for symptoms. There is no longer a need to isolate but you should wear a mask for 10 days when in public.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or runny nose, stay home from school, work and social events until your fever is gone and symptoms are improving, get a rapid antigen test or, if eligible, a PCR test. Wear a mask for 10 days after and avoid non-essential visits to high-risk individuals and settings.

If you are travelling outside of Canada, please visit the Government of Canada’s website on Travel, testing and borders for the latest policies.

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Reliable resources for information on COVID-19

There is a lot of information on the Internet about the current pandemic, but not everything is accurate.

Please visit the following websites for the most up-to-date and reliable information:

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What to do for appointments at our Clinic

Updated July 15th, 2022

Please do not come to the Clinic if you have any of the symptoms. Depending on your situation, you may be able to have your appointment remotely.

Please see our section on Clinic operations and hospital restrictions during COVID-19.

Please note that Toronto General Hospital has a Universal Masking Policy.

  • Cloth masks are not permitted at UHN.
  • Everyone entering UHN must wear a medical mask. If you are wearing a mask from home, you can get a medical mask at the entrance.
If you need to see a doctor for a problem that is very urgent but not life-threatening, and if you are unable to book an appointment with your family doctor, you can book an appointment with Toronto’s Virtual Emergency Department. You can receive care by phone, smartphone, tablet or computer. Please watch the video on their website to see the types of health issues that they can help you with.

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Support and financial assistance

While there are support services and financial assistance available, we urge you to be very careful about possible scams. Please visit the Government of Canada’s scam prevention website to learn how to protect yourself.

Support
Financial assistance

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