Last updated: September 20, 2021 at 7:20 a.m.
Vaccines will help protect us against COVID-19. They enhance the body’s natural ability to fight infections. The pandemic will not end until the majority of Canadians are immunized. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community by getting vaccinated. Text “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888 for information about vaccines, how to get vaccinated and telephone town halls.
In Ontario, you are considered fully vaccinated if you have received:
In all scenarios, you must have received your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago.
While the vaccine will protect each of us individually, the primary goal of a vaccine program is to immunize the majority of the community so that COVID-19 can no longer spread.
Community immunity protects those who can’t get vaccinations like newborn babies and those with weak immune systems like the elderly. The sooner the majority of Torontonians are vaccinated, the sooner our lives can return to normal.
Canada has one of the best vaccine safety programs. Vaccines must pass many safety tests before they are considered to be safe for people. Health Canada authorizes vaccines only when there is sufficient scientific and clinical evidence that they are safe, effective, and are manufactured to the highest quality standard. There are several systems in place to monitor the vaccine’s safety. Find out more.
All vaccines work well to protect us from severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. There is a small chance that you may still get a mild COVID-19 infection after vaccination. More research is being done to understand how long the vaccine protection will last and if a booster dose is needed in the future.
The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause an infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you. Vaccines tell your body how to make a harmless protein found in the virus and start building antibodies that know how to fight the real virus if you come in contact with it.
Three of the vaccines are given in two doses using a needle in your upper arm. It may take two weeks to achieve protection after vaccination. Two doses provide the best protection.
The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine requires a single dose.
The data shows that all four vaccines work well at preventing serious illness requiring hospitalization and at preventing serious illness resulting in death.
All vaccines work well and will provide protection against severe illness. The vaccines offered at the clinics are based on the available vaccine. Individual vaccine preferences cannot be accommodated at this time. Given the new variants that are circulating, and a need to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, we need to vaccinate as many people as we can as quickly as possible. Vaccination will reduce the burden of illness and death from COVID-19. The purpose of providing immunization clinics is to protect the health of the public.
Most people who receive vaccines have no side effects, but like any medicine, some people may experience some. Common side effects such as sore arm, muscle ache or mild fever may occur, lasting only a few days.
These types of side effects are expected and indicate the vaccine is working to produce protection. As with any medicines and vaccines, allergic reactions are rare but can occur after receiving a vaccine.
By getting your COVID-19 vaccine you protect yourself and those around you. As vaccination rates increase, the community becomes safer. Then, as cases of COVID-19 decrease, some public health measures can be lifted.
The Government of Canada has released information about what we can look forward to when a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated. See COVID-19: Life after vaccination for more information.
At this time however, rates of COVID-19 are still very high in Toronto and Ontario. For now, we need to continue to practice public health measures, and get first and second doses of the vaccine when available.
During this telephone town hall, participants living anywhere in Toronto listened to Mayor John Tory, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, and Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, speak about COVID-19 vaccines, and could ask questions. The telephone town halls are in support of the City of Toronto VaxTO campaign throughout the summer.
The Black Scientists’ Task Force, in conjunction with several community organizations, including the Black Health Alliance (BHA); Black Physicians Association of Ontario (BPAO); the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum and Harriet Tubman Institute; Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, and TAIBU co-hosted a series of free virtual town hall meetings for Toronto’s Black communities during Black History Month and into March.