Community NewsToronto

Toronto Public Health Urges Vaccination Amid Rise in Meningococcal Cases

Toronto ON – Toronto Public Health (TPH) is urging residents to get vaccinated against invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) as cases rise. Fourteen cases have been reported in 2024, more than double the annual average of six.

The IMD type W strain is of particular concern, responsible for seven cases. Six of these match a strain found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), despite no direct travel links. This strain, known for causing severe illness, has been linked to global outbreaks and accounted for 20% of Toronto cases from 2014 to 2023.

With summer travel season underway, TPH stresses the importance of up-to-date meningococcal vaccinations. People returning from KSA should be vigilant for IMD symptoms and avoid sharing food, drinks, and utensils.

Adults aged 18 to 38 who missed their meningococcal vaccines, along with newcomers to Canada, are eligible for a publicly funded vaccine covering strains A, C, Y, and W. School-aged children should also be vaccinated as per Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act, which mandates the meningococcal C vaccine at 12 months and the ACYW vaccine in grade seven.

TPH offers vaccination clinics, with appointments available for children and, starting June 28, for adults aged 18 to 38. Residents can book appointments and find more information at

IMD, caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, can lead to severe illnesses like meningitis and bloodstream infections. It spreads through close contact with respiratory and throat secretions. Symptoms include fever, aches, joint pain, headache, stiff neck, and light sensitivity. The disease can be transmitted up to seven days before symptoms appear and up to 24 hours after starting antibiotics.

TPH urges anyone experiencing symptoms to seek immediate medical attention. For more information on meningococcal vaccines and IMD, visit

As TPH works to curb the rise in meningococcal cases, the message is clear: vaccination is crucial to protecting Toronto’s residents.


Kelly Deschamps is the dedicated City Hall Reporter, bringing forth the pulse of municipal affairs with precision and clarity. With an astute eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories that shape urban life, Deschamps delivers comprehensive coverage of local governance. For inquiries or feedback, contact Kelly at

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