There are dozens of reasons to vaccinate, both personal and medical to keep you and the community safe from the spread of COVID-19.
The internet provides a wealth of information and misinformation. It’s important to sift through it and get the facts based on science and research. Be sure to source trusted and verified websites or contact your health care provider about COVID-19 vaccination.
Top questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine answered from verified health organizations and researchers.
COVID-19 is an infection caused by a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Recognized for the first time in December 2019 and has since spread around the world to cause a pandemic. It is mainly passed from an infected person to others when the infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes. Infected people can spread the virus even if they have no symptoms (asymptomatic).
COVID-19 affects everyone, no matter your age, background or health. Learn more about COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination is one of many tools to battle the virus. Continue to follow the health unit guidelines including wearing a mask, keeping 2 metres distance from others and practicing proper hand hygiene.
Vaccines work by training our immune system to recognize the coronavirus spike protein. It’s these spikes that help the virus enter human cells. By training the immune system through the vaccine, it can protect vaccinated individuals when it sees this protein on the virus itself.
After vaccination, the immune system is prepared to quickly respond when it sees this protein on the virus itself, thereby removing the virus quickly before it can invade cells and do extensive damage to your body.
Dose 1 trains your body to recognize the virus and dose 2 prolongs the duration of protection. (National Advisory Committee on Immunization).
Important fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not contain active virus and you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine according to the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Learn more about how vaccines work from medical experts (WECHU) or speak to your health care provider with your questions and concerns.
Yes! They were developed under the same strict standards as all vaccines and rigourously tested in clinical trials. Only vaccines that Health Canada determines to be safe and effective will be approved for use in Canada and Ontario. Learn more:
According to Jessica Summerfield, MD, BSCN, CCFP, in her article “Who Should Get the Vaccine and Who Should Not?”, almost everyone should get the vaccine.
Those who had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID vaccine will not receive the second dose.
Those who are very sick with COVID-19 on a ventilator will not get the vaccine until their symptoms are cleared and back to usual health.
The two-dose COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada are effective at preventing severe, symptomatic infection with COVID-19. Immunity can take up to 14 days to develop and individuals vaccinated will still need to follow public health measures (WECHU). The COVID-19 vaccines have an efficacy of up to 90%.
Vaccinated people may still contract and spread COVID-19, however all of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations.
Learn more from the Ontario Ministry of Health Vaccine Information Sheet.
Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines may cause side effects in both adults and children and can vary from person to person. Those who do experience them mostly report mild side effects within the first 1-2 days after vaccination.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for individuals 12 years of age and older.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for individuals 18 years of age and older.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and COVISHIELD is currently authorized for individuals 18 years of age and older. At this time, Ontario has paused the rollout and administration of first doses of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines. At present, this vaccine is being offered to individuals 40 years of age and older for second doses only. (Ontario Ministry of Health)
You will receive a mRNA vaccine (either Moderna or Pfizer) at Windsor-Essex regional clinics depending on supplies and age eligibility. If you had Moderna or Pfizer for your first dose you can safely take either Moderna or Pfizer for your second dose for strong protection against COVID-19. If you had AstraZeneca for your first dose you can safely take either Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca for your second dose for strong protection.