Last updated: April 17, 2021 at 10:50 a.m.
Residents aged 50+ (born in 1971 or earlier) and living in hot spot postal codes can now book appointments at City immunization clinics. Learn who is currently eligible to book at City immunization clinics and at hospital immunization clinics or pharmacies.
COVID-19 vaccines tell our body to make antibodies that protect us from COVID-19. The antibodies protect us from getting sick with COVID-19, as well as from getting and spreading the virus.
Health Canada has approved four vaccines. These vaccines do not have the COVID-19 virus in them and cannot give us COVID-19
After getting your vaccine please:
Until most people are vaccinated (herd immunity), you still need to:
Health care workers and staff must still wear personal protective equipment (PPE), even after they get their vaccine. Learn more about how to reduce virus spread.
Three Health Canada approved vaccines require two doses. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine only needs one dose.
It takes 2 weeks after getting vaccinated to be protected. One vaccine dose is effective against getting seriously sick. Protection is 80% after the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Protection is 90% after the second dose. Your protection will not suddenly go down. Extending the time between doses means that more people can get the vaccine so we can save more lives.
Like all medicine, some people may have side effects from the vaccine. If these side effects happen they usually last for 1 to 3 days.
Common side effects:
Some side effects are more common after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Learn more about rare side effects with the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.
After your vaccine please stay at the clinic for 15 minutes. You will be monitored for any reactions. In very rare cases, serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can occur. Allergic reactions can be treated and are usually temporary. Get medical attention if you get allergic reactions such as hives, itching, swelling of the face and throat, and/or trouble breathing.
The vaccine contains an active ingredient that gives our body instructions to make antibodies. Other vaccine ingredients include lipids (fats), salts, sugars and buffers.
COVID-19 vaccines do not contain eggs, gelatin (pork), gluten, latex, preservatives, antibiotics or aluminum.
People with allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients should not get the vaccine. If you get a serious reaction after your first dose, do not get the second dose. Talk to your health care provider if you are unsure about which ingredients you are allergic to.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. PEG can also be found in laxatives, makeup, skin care products, personal lubricants, toothpastes, and some contact lenses. It is also in cough syrup, over-the-counter medications, and in some food and drinks.
Tromethamine is in the Moderna vaccine. It helps to make the vaccine stable. Tromethamine can be found in dyes used for CT or MRI scans, medications, cosmetics, perfumes and skin creams.
Polysorbate-80 is in the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines. It is used to hold (or bind) the vaccine ingredients together. Polysorbate-80 can be found in most processed food, sauces, condiments, soups, ice cream, chewing gum, soaps, creams, bath gels, shampoo, body butter, cosmetics, vitamins, heart medication and contraceptives (birth control).
The Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada recommends vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding people as long as they don’t have any medical conditions that prevent them from getting the vaccine. Speak with your doctor or midwife for more information.
New COVID-19 variants can spread more easily and make people sicker. Vaccines can protect against these variants and reduce your risk of severe illness while pregnant. Getting COVID-19 while pregnant may lead to an early (pre-term) birth.
People who are planning to get pregnant should wait for a month after getting the vaccine.
People with stable health conditions can get vaccinated. Conditions include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory diseases, including asthma or COPD, hepatitis B, C and HIV.
People with a weak immune system because of illness, treatment or an autoimmune condition:
People taking medication that make their immune system weak may be able to schedule their vaccine and treatment to get the best protection.
People who have had COVID-19 in the past should still get vaccinated. Natural immunity from having COVID-19 may not last long and may not protect against COVID-19 variants. Get vaccinated to stay protected.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, should not go to a vaccine clinic. Please wait at least 10 days until you are no longer in self-isolation or your symptoms have gone away.
|Pfizer BioNTech||mRNA||16 years +||2 doses||Available|
|Moderna||mRNA||18 years +||2 doses||Available|
|AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD||Viral vector||55 years +||2 doses||Available|
|Janssen||Viral vector||18 years +||1 dose||Not yet available|