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COVID Vaccine

Ontario’s doctors answer COVID-19 vaccine questions

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important and effective things Ontarians can do to stop the pandemic. Ontario’s doctors are sharing their expert advice to ensure Ontarians have the information they need to keep their families safe and healthy.

For information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout visit the government on Ontario’s website.

Here are the top COVID-19 vaccine questions and answers:

COVID Vaccine

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

All vaccine candidates are heavily scrutinized in clinical trials and by Health Canada. The approval process is rigorous. Even after approval, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

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When will children get the vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 12 years of age and older. During the week of May 31, children ages 12 and older will be able to book a vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system.

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Is the vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals?

Pregnant individuals may choose to receive the vaccine after counselling by their treating health-care provider or by a health-care provider familiar with their pregnancy. If, after this counselling, the pregnant individual feels the potential benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential harms, they should be able to access the vaccine. Verbal confirmation that the person received counselling should be provided at the time of vaccination as part of informed consent to receive the vaccine. Learn more.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

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What will I feel like after the vaccine? What are the side effects?

You can expect to feel similar to what you feel after receiving the flu vaccine. In the short term, you may experience minor symptoms such as localized swelling or pain at the injection site. You may also feel unwell or get a headache or fever that lasts a few days.

COVID Vaccine

I have heard that people who have experienced anaphylaxis or allergies should not take the vaccine? Who else should not take the vaccine?

Health Canada recommends those who have experienced anaphylaxis should avoid the vaccine only if they’ve had an allergic reaction to the first dose of the two-dose regime, or those allergic to one of the components. Individuals with severe allergies unrelated to vaccines, such as people with food allergies, can be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Learn more about at-risk populations for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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How does the mRNA vaccine work and what do we know about this new technology?

Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines. After receiving a mRNA vaccine, your body makes a protein that mimics part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to trick your body into thinking it’s infected. Your body responds by generating an immune response, which includes producing antibodies. Part of the immune response will also remember if it encounters the virus in the future, helping to fight off future infection. While this is a new vaccine, it is not new technology. The messenger RNA response has been used for other medical treatments. You can not contract COVID-19 from the vaccine.

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Should I get the vaccine?

Yes. Ontario’s doctors trust the COVID-19 vaccines because they are safe and they work. We encourage the public to receive the vaccine when they are able to. Ask your doctor to learn more.