This Version Posted: December 3, 2021
Vaccines are now here in the fight against COVID-19. Please read further for more information.
- Children ages 5-11 years old are now able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada. Learn more.
- Have questions about COVID-19 Vaccine? Speak to a health professional
- Ontario now requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend select non-essential businesses and indoor settings. Get full details here.
- Employers are also encouraged to develop and implement a workplace COVID-19 vaccination policy to help protect their employees and the public from COVID-19.
- Need a ride to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment? Click here for options in your community.
Get Your Vaccine
- Anyone born in 2016 or earlier is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Click here for upcoming clinic dates and locations.
- To learn about COVID-19 vaccine safety for youth, click here.
- COVID-19 Vaccines – A Dose of Protection – Get the facts on the vacs and why COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and worth getting.
On This Page:
- About COVID-19 Vaccine
- How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
- Facts on COVID-19 Vaccine
- Possible Side-Effects
- What You Can Do
- Speak to a Health Care Professional About Vaccine Concerns
- Additional Resources
- HKPRDHU Mass Immunization Plan – please note this plan can evolve based on changes to vaccine availability and direction from the province
About COVID-19 Vaccine
- Currently, four COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use in Canada. They include: the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine, the Spikevax vaccine developed by Moderna, the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine, and the Janssen vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. Other vaccine candidates are also currently under review by Health Canada. Important Note: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends that it is safe for the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be used interchangeably with each other.
- Ontario is now offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to individuals. See who is eligible.
- Vaccines are safe, reliable and are shown to be effective against COVID-19. Health Canada uses strict safety and quality requirements for regulating and approving vaccines. These same standards were applied to the COVID-19 vaccines.
- Ontario recommends the use of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals ages 18-24 years. This is due to an observed increase in Ontario of the very rare heart condition called pericarditis/myocarditis following vaccination with Moderna compared to Pfizer in this age group. Both vaccines continue to be safe and effectives, and the risk of these heart conditions very low.
- If you have received a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, click here for an After-Care Fact Sheet.
- There have been a small number of reports of pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart) or myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) after getting a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in Canada. Click here to learn more in this Public Health Ontario fact sheet.
- Health Canada has recently updated the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine label to reflect very rare reports of Bell’s Palsy.
- In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone. You are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when it is available. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. When a large percentage of people become vaccinated against COVID-19, it stops the spread of the virus. That benefits everyone and means a quicker return to normal.
How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
Vaccines have saved millions of lives over the past century. COVID-19 vaccines will work similarly to protect millions more. Here’s how:
- COVID vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to build protection against coronavirus.
- It does this by telling your body to make spike proteins.
- Spike proteins are unique to the virus that causes COVID-1.9
- Your immune system responds to the spike proteins by making antibodies that can protect you against COVID-19.
The result is that you build up immunity to the virus, allowing your body to fight off COVID-19 more easily.
Facts on COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the coronavirus and cannot give you COVID-19. Instead, the vaccine offers a dose of protection!
- Like other vaccines, it may take several days for your body to build full immunity against COVID-19.
- This means if you come in contact with the virus just before or after you complete the vaccine series, you could still develop COVID-19. That makes it important to continue taking COVID-19 precautions until you are fully protected.
- The Ontario Medical Association also offers additional facts about COVID-19 vaccine.
- Serious adverse reactions to vaccines are rare.
- If you get any vaccine, minor side-effects may occur. These are usually mild and clear up within a few days. Some common side-effects include: pain at the site of injection (even redness and swelling), body chills, feeling tired or feeling feverish.
- Vaccines are constantly monitored for potential reactions and safety measures are put in place if needed. You can be assured COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective!
What You Can Do
- Click here for COVID-19 vaccination clinics in your community.
- Even once you are fully vaccinated, continue your efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home if sick.
- Wear a mask or face covering that covers your nose, mouth and chin when inside public places.
- Practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
Speak to a Health Care Professional
Make an appointment to talk with a doctor/nurse if you have questions or concerns about receiving the COVID- 19 vaccine. Access these free services:
- VaxFacts – Scarborough Health Network – Click here to book an appointment online or call 416-438-2911, ext. 5738, to speak to a doctor.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service – Sick Kids’ Hospital – Families with children can click here to book an appointment to speak to a pediatric Registered Nurse. You can also call 437-881-3505.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine distribution, development and safety:
- HKPR District Health Unit
- Vaccination Clinics
- Youth and COVID-19 Vaccination
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5-11
- COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for Urban Indigenous Peoples
- Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 Vaccine Certificates
- COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: Information for Employers
- For Health Care Providers
- COVID-19 Vaccine-Relevant Information and Planning Resources (including fact sheets in multiple languages) – Ontario Ministry of Health
- Government of Ontario
- Ethical Framework For COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution (document outlines how Ontario will ensure fair and equitable distribution of vaccines)
- What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccine – Public Health Ontario
- COVID-19 Real World Vaccine Effectiveness: What We Know So Far – Public Health Ontario
- Ontario Medical Association
- Government of Canada
- COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccine Questions: Ask the Experts Video Series – Public Health Agency of Canada
- Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19: Progress
- Video on How Vaccines are Developed and Approved for Use in Canada
- COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna
- Viral Vector-Based Vaccines for COVID-19 – AstraZeneca and Janssen
- World Health Organization