Last reviewed/updated: May 4, 2023
COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ – General Vaccine Questions
- How do mRNA vaccines work?
- Can an mRNA vaccine change a person’s DNA?
- Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me a COVID-19 infection?
- How do I cancel my vaccination appointment?
- How do I obtain a copy of my vaccine receipt?
- How are Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) reported?
- How do I book if I do not have an Ontario health care? How do I book if I have a red and white health card?
- Does the COVID-19 vaccine impact fertility?
- Can I get a different vaccine (ex. influenza, tetanus) after my COVID-19 vaccine?
- Should people with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (diseases that make your body attack your joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissues) get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
- Should people aged 5 years or older receive a COVID-19 booster dose after 3 or 6 months to protect against COVID-19?
- Should high-risk individuals 5 years and older receive booster doses?
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
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.
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.
If you need to cancel your appointment please visit, vaccine.covaxonbooking.ca/manage
Residents can obtain their vaccine receipts through the province. This can be found online at covid-19.ontario.ca/get-proof/ or by calling the provincial vaccine call centre at 1-833-943-3900.
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.
If you do not have a health card, please call Peterborough Public Health for assistance (705-743-1000).
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.
Individuals 6 months and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine on the same day, or any time before or after receiving a different vaccine. Consult with your health care provider and/or vaccinator to make an informed decision.
Individuals who are immunocompromised are recommended to receive a 3 dose primary series. Use this resource to learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for individuals with autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Information webpage to check your eligibility, find a clinic, and book a COVID-19 appointment.