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Third doses of COVID-19 vaccine available now to some patients

People with solid tumours or hematological cancer who are in active treatment are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Active cancer treatments reduce your immune system.

You are in active treatment if you have had immunosuppressive therapy for:

  • solid tumour in the last 3 months, or
  • hematological cancer in the last 6 months or
  • taken an anti-C20 drug in the last 12 months

Research has shown that people on certain treatments or with certain medical history are at greatest risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19, and that a third dose of vaccine provides better immunity against COVID-19.

You are still well-protected by two doses. The third dose will provide even more protection.

Who should get a third dose?

You should get a third dose if you are in active treatment for a solid tumour or malignant hematological condition. This means that you are on stable, active treatment that can cause moderate to severe immunosuppression.

Toronto Public Health defines this as:

  • Patients on chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy right now.
  • All malignant hematology patients who are on treatment or are within 6 months post-treatment (including all CML patients)
  • Patients who have completed treatment within 3 months, or within 12 months for patients receiving B-cell depleting therapy.
  • All patients who received an allogenic transplant within the last 2 years or who are on chronic post-transplant immune-suppressive
  • All patients who received an autologous transplant within the last two
  • Patients who are on active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies: anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22, e.g. rituximab, obinutuzumab), high-dose systemic corticosteroids (prednisone equivalent of ≥ 20 mg/day), alkylating agents (e.g. bendamustine, cyclophosphamide), antimetabolites (e.g. 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate), or tumour-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors (e.g. infliximab) and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive

You are also eligible for a third dose if:

  • you got your first or second vaccine during or within 12 months after treatment with anti-CD20 agents
  • you got chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy).

How to book a third dose of COVID-19 at Sunnybrook’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

  • Review the list of what treatments or conditions would make you eligible for a third dose.
  • Click on “Book a Third Dose Appointment. Eligible Sunnybrook patients only” below.
  • Follow the prompts.
  • Enter your MRN. This is the number on your red hospital card. Eligible Odette patients have been identified by their care teams. Your MRN is used to unlock the booking tool.
  • Follow the prompts to book an appointment for your third dose.

Book a Third Dose Appointment. Eligible Sunnybrook patients only

If you need help booking an appointment at the Sunnybrook COVID-19 vaccine clinic, call 416-480-5891.

If you live outside of Toronto and would like to book a vaccine closer to home, please contact your local public health unit, as each public health unit is finalizing their own plans for third doses. Speak to your care team at your next treatment about a letter you will need to get the vaccine someplace else. You will not need a letter if you book an appointment at the Sunnybrook COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.

Walk-ins for a third dose at Sunnybrook's COVID-19 vaccine clinic

If you are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and would prefer to walk-in to our clinic for your dose, please bring your medication slip and drop-in during our hours of operation:

  • Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Learn more about our vaccine clinic location and hours

Frequently asked questions

Who should get a third dose?

People with cancer who are on active treatments like chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy should get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. People who have had a stem cell transplant or CAR-T cell therapy should also get a third dose. People who’ve recently had these treatments should also review the list above to see if they are eligible. For the full list of who should get a third dose, see above.

Why do I need a third dose?

Research has shown that people on certain treatments or with certain medical history are at greatest risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19, and that a third dose of vaccine provides better immunity against COVID-19.

When should I get a third dose?

You can get your third dose at least 56 days after your second dose. It can also be later than that too. You remain well-protected by two doses.

Why do I need my MRN?

If our Odette Cancer team identified you as someone who should get a third dose, you will use your MRN to unlock the booking system. This is because not everyone is able to get a third dose in Ontario. Your MRN is not linked to your name or any other information about you.

My MRN didn’t work. Why and what do I do?

The MRN keys are loaded for patients who were deemed eligible by their Odette Care team. If your MRN isn’t working, please try it again. Review the eligibility list to make sure you are eligible.

If you have a solid tumour or blood cancer and are in active treatment (as described above) and your MRN doesn’t work, please call 416-480-5891.

How do I get a third dose?

As an eligible Odette patient, you can book your third dose at Sunnybrook’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic by following the instructions above.

You can also go to select pharmacies or a vaccine clinic where you live. Please check with your local public health agency for their instructions. You will need proof of your medication, like the medication slip.

I live far from Sunnybrook. Can I get the vaccine closer to home?

Please check with your local public health agency for their instructions. You will need proof of your medication, like the medication slip.

Can my family or household members get a third dose?

No. Only patients who have an illness or treatments that cause their immune systems to be compromise can get a third dose at this time.

Who doesn’t need a third dose at this time?

Only people with the conditions or on the treatments above should get a third dose at this time. Everyone else should be sure to get two doses, and continue to follow other public health advice to protect themselves against COVID-19.

What vaccine will I get?

Sunnybrook’s Vaccine Clinic has both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine and you will get what vaccine brand you had for your other doses. If those doses were mixed, talk to your vaccinator.

I didn’t get my first or second dose yet. What do I do?

The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself from COVID-19. If you haven’t got the vaccine yet, please speak to your care team or call 416-480-5891

What else can I do to protect myself against COVID-19?

Please continue to follow public health guidelines for masking and distancing. Encourage people in your family who were born in 2009 or earlier to also get vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Where can I get more information?

Our team is planning a virtual talk about third doses on Oct. 7. Find out more.