Toronto will begin its public immunization clinics for the swine flu virus starting on Nov. 2, but people who aren't in priority groups are being asked to wait.

"Get the shot. Immunization is the best way to protect yourself, and those around you," said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, director of communicable disease control with Toronto Public Health, in a news release issued Wednesday.

"We will have enough vaccine to immunize everyone who wants and needs the shot. We also have the capability to run more clinics if demand is high."

However, the city is encouraging high-risk patients to come out first. Those include:

  • people with chronic medical conditions under the age of 65
  • healthy children from six months to five years old
  • care providers and household contacts of persons at high risk who cannot be immunized or may not respond to vaccines
  • health care workers
  • pregnant women

Women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant can use the adjuvanted vaccine.

An adjuvant is a product that allows the person being vaccinated to receive the full immune-boosting response while using less of the active ingredient, known as the antigen. It can provide better results, Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, told a news conference.

"Women less than 20 weeks pregnant and who do not have an underlying medical condition may wish to wait until unadjuvanted vaccine is available," the release said.

Vaccinations will actually start Monday for city health care workers and for those who provide care to ill clients. The shots are not mandatory for those workers, Rishma Govani, a spokesperson for Toronto Public Health, told

The vaccination clinics will be held at the following locations:

  • Metro Hall - Rotunda - 55 John St.
  • East York Civic Centre - lower level, 850 Coxwell Ave.
  • North York Civic Centre - members lounge, 5100 Yonge St.
  • North Toronto Memorial Community Recreational Centre - 200 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre - committee rooms 1, 2 and 3 - 399 The West Mall
  • Melody Village Public School - Gym - 24 Strathburn Blvd. (closed school)
  • Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreational Centre - 220 Cowan Ave.
  • Scarborough Civic Centre - Rotunda - 150 Borough Dr.
  • North Kipling Community Recreational Centre - 2 Rowntree Rd.
  • Timothy Eaton Business and Technical Institute - Cafeteria - 1251 Bridletowne Circle (closed school)

The clinics will run for six weeks. Here are the hours for the first two weeks:

  • Monday, Nov. 2 - Friday, Nov. 6: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 7: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10 - Friday, Nov. 13: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 14: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Govani said some family doctors will be administering the swine flu shot and some won't be, so phone them and check. Otherwise, plan on getting a swine flu shot at a public clinic, she said.

Similarly, some large employers have operated flu shot clinics for their employees. That won't be the case this year as the seasonal flu vaccine will only be given to seniors, she said.

Those wanting to be immunized against swine flu will have to get it from either the public clinics or their doctors, Govani said.