Covid-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 – Vaccine FAQ

Last reviewed/updated: October 3, 2022

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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ – Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe for Kids?

 

COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ – General Vaccine Questions

  1. How do mRNA vaccines work?
  2. Can an mRNA vaccine change a person’s DNA?
  3. Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me a COVID-19 infection?
  4. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have an allergy to an ingredient in it?
  5. Who should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
  6. Can Pregnant or Breastfeeding individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
  7. If I have had COVID-19 in the past can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
  8. Once I receive all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, can I stop following COVID-19 guidelines?
  9. How was the vaccine approved so quickly?
  10. How are Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) reported?
  11. Is the vaccine mandatory? Do I have to get it?
  12. Does the COVID-19 vaccine impact fertility?

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ – Vaccine Clinic and Appointment Booking

  1. I do not have an Ontario health card, how do I book? I have a red and white health card, how do I book?
  2. What is a vaccine receipt? How do I get one if the original is lost?
  3. Can I get a different vaccine (ex. influenza, tetanus) after my COVID-19 vaccine?

 

  1. How do mRNA vaccines work?

RNA’ stands for ribonucleic acid, which is a molecule that provides cells with instructions for making proteins. RNA vaccines contain the instructions for making the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The mRNA molecule acts like a recipe, telling the cells of the body how to make the spike protein.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them. The mRNA never enters the central part (nucleus) of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is found.

The cell then puts the protein piece on outside. Our immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there and begins building an immune response and making antibodies.

Visit Health Canada for more information

Watch a short video on how mRNA vaccines work

  1. Can an mRNA vaccine change a person’s DNA?

No. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease.

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  1. Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me a COVID-19 infection?

No. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.  These are mRNA vaccines. These vaccines train your immune system to recognize the COVID-19 virus and respond to it before it causes an infection. The COVID-19 vaccines have side effects, similar to any vaccine. These side effects are often mild and the result of the immune system training to recognize and respond to the vaccine.

It is also important to note that the vaccine’s protection is not optimal until about 2 weeks after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A person can still contract COVID-19 before they are fully protected.

  1. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have an allergy to an ingredient in it?

Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis or a known hypersensitivity to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine should consult their healthcare provider before booking an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please review the vaccine consent form and speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about your health and the COVID-19 vaccine.

  1. Who should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Please review the vaccine consent form and speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about your health and the COVID-19 vaccine.

For more guidance please visit the Guidance for Special Populations 

  1. Can Pregnant or Breastfeeding individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! Pregnant individuals are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to the increased risk of severe outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Speak to your health care provider if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

  1. If I have had COVID-19 in the past, can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Check out current guidance 

If a COVID-19 screening or self assessment recommends to isolate or avoid high-risk settings, it is best to reschedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

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  1. Once I receive all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, can I stop following COVID-19 guidelines?

The COVID-19 immunization schedule has been updated. Please review this schedule to make sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 immunizations.

If you are up to date, caution is still recommended. Review current transmission rates for the Peterborough City and County to learn more.

  1. How was the vaccine approved so quickly?

Due to the heightened need for a COVID-19 vaccine, Health Canada was able to quickly review the vaccine company’s data as it was made available to allow them to make a decision of approval. In instances where the product benefit outweighs the potential risk, health products can be approved with conditions to continue monitoring. The approval is supported by the evidence that the vaccine is safe, of good quality, and is effective at disease prevention. Data will continue to be collected as more people become immunized to ensure safety and efficacy, similar to any other vaccine. Review these pages for information on Pfizer BioNTech approval and Moderna approval.

  1. How are Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) reported?

In Ontario, health professionals are required to report Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFIs) to their local public health unit. Public Health units investigate AEFIs and provide recommendations for future follow-up. This information is collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada and can signal a response for the vaccine to be reviewed further if necessary.

Please note – if you experience an AEFI please seek medical attention immediately. Call your healthcare provider or in an emergency please call 911. Local public health units receive reports from your healthcare provider.

Health Canada reports all AEFIs related to the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the Health Canada website for more information.

  1. Is the vaccine mandatory? Do I have to get it?

The vaccine is not mandatory at this time. The decision to receive the vaccine is a personal decision. Take the time to review the facts from reputable sources and ask your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your health and the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have questions about the vaccine and your health, you can book a consult with a physician to talk about your options.

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  1. Does the COVID-19 vaccine impact fertility?

No.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) states: ‘There is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretic reason to suspect that the COVID-19 vaccine could impair male or female fertility.’

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility

  1. I do not have an Ontario health card, how do I book? I have a red and white health card, how do I book?

If you do not have a health card, please call Peterborough Public Health for assistance (705-743-1000).

  1. What is a vaccine receipt? How do I get one if the original is lost?

Information about vaccine receipts and proof of vaccination can be found here.

  1. Can I get a different vaccine (ex. influenza, tetanus) after my COVID-19 vaccine?

Residents age 5-11 must wait a minimum of 14 days after a different vaccine is administered before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents 12+ can receive the COVID-19 vaccine on the same day, anytime before, or anytime after receiving a different vaccine.

 

 

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