Covid-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 – About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Last reviewed/updated: May 16, 2022

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About the COVID-19 Booster Dose(s)

Use the COVID-19 Immunization Schedule to determine if you are eligible for a third, fourth, or fifth booster dose.

Third Dose for Residents Age 12-17

Residents ages 12-17 are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The third dose can be received at least 6 months after a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was received.

Review some commonly asked questions about the 12-17 third dose:

  1. Why are they recommending a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for the 12-17 age range?
    • With the Omicron variant, current evidence suggests that 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are no longer adequate to protect against symptomatic infection from the COVID-19 virus. Research shows that among all age ranges 12+, the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes over time. Data is also showing that youth ages 12-17 are experiencing high rates of infection due to the omicron variant.
    • To increase protection against COVID-19, support the health of those ages 12-17 and reduce transmission of the omicron variant, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending that residents ages 12-17 receive a third dose at least 6 months after their second dose was received.
  2. Why would a 12-17 year old need a third dose?
    • Current evidence shows that 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are not sufficient at preventing infection from the omicron variant. In the adult population, third doses are more effective at preventing infection and more effective at preventing severe illness due to the COVID-19 virus.
    • Preventing a COVID-19 infection will prevent illness, prevent sick days, and reduce the risk of transmission to loved ones who may be vulnerable and at an increased risk of complications related to a COVID-19 infection.
  3. Should I be concerned about the risk of myocarditis following a third dose?
    • It is important to remember that the occurrence of myocarditis or pericarditis following immunization is still very rare. At this time, no safety concerns have been identified in the 12-17 age group following the administration of a COVID-19 third dose. In adults (ages 18+), the frequency of adverse events following immunization with a third dose is comparable or lower than those experienced after the second dose.
    • It is important to remember that residents in this age category are offered the Pfizer COVID-19 mRNA vaccine as it has fewer occurrences of myocarditis or pericarditis following immunization in those 29 and younger than the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine does.

Third Dose for Residents Age 18+

All residents 18 years of age or older are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The third dose can be received at least 3 months after a second dose was administered.

Review some commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 third dose for adults:

  1. Should I be concerned about the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis?
    • Learn more about the occurrence of myocarditis and pericarditis follow immunization.
  2. Which vaccines are available?
    • Peterborough Public Health is administering Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at their clinics.
    • As of December 3, 2021, the Pfizer COVID-19 is recommended for residents 29 and younger. Reports of myocarditis or pericarditis following immunization are more often seen in those 29 and younger. Evidence suggests that it is more common to occur after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine compared to the Pfizer COVID-19. This is why there is a preferential recommendation for those 29 and under to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
    • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for residents 30 and older. Ongoing research suggests that Moderna has less waning immunity over time and maintains higher efficacy compared to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This means the vaccines benefits last longer and may provide stronger protection than the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Why do we need a third dose?
    • A third dose in needed to prevent an infection and severe outcomes due to a COVID-19 infection.
    • Recent data shows that 3 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are more effective at preventing a COVID-19 infection and complication related to an infection. Data is emerging that 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine show waning immunity across all age ranges. This is further supported by evidence that suggests two doses for the COVID-19 vaccine are less effective against the omicron variant than previous variants of concern.
    • Research suggests that a third dose can provide additional protection against symptomatic infection from the omicron variant. A booster dose is also very effective at preventing severe infection or hospitalization.
    • Additional information can be found in this NACI guidance document

Do you have a question about the COVID-19 third dose that is not answered above? Leave your question with us!

Third Dose Question Collection

Your questions will assist PPH is creating education resources and webpage content for the community.

Fourth Dose Eligibility:

  • age 60+
  • First Nation, Inuit, Metis adults (18+) and their non-Indigenous household members; OR
  • Immunocompromised due to health condition or medication (age 5+)

Fifth Dose Eligibility:

  • First Nation, Inuit, Metis adults (18+) who are immunocompromised due to health condition or medication
  • Immunocompromised due to health condition or medication (age 60+)

Additional details on eligibility criteria for fourth and fifth doses can be found here.

To access fourth and fifth doses, residents are required to have proof of eligibility such as a referral form signed by a health care provider or by bringing a medication prescription to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Where can I receive a booster dose?

  • COVID-19 vaccines are administered at many locations across Peterborough County and the City of Peterborough. Find a clinic near you.

Vaccine Safety

The safety of vaccines is carefully monitored, starting early in the product development and continuing for as long as the vaccine is being used. Health Canada’s independent drug authorization process is recognized around the world for its high standards and rigorous review. Decisions are based only on scientific and medical evidence showing that vaccines are safe and effective. The benefits must also outweigh any risks.  For more information see Health Canada Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.

As with all vaccines, the possibility of a serious side effect is very rare. These are typically due to an allergic reaction or other health conditions that you may have prior to receiving the vaccine. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns before receiving the vaccine. Any serious side effects or adverse events following immunization (AEFI) related to the COVID-19 vaccine are reported to a primary care physician and investigated by the local public health unit. All AEFI in Canada that are related to the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.

For more information about vaccine safety and reporting in Ontario visit Public Health Ontario: Vaccine Safety or review how vaccine safety is monitored.
For more information on vaccine manufacturing, safety, and quality control visit the World Health Organization webpage.

Health Canada has launched a vaccine injury support program. Learn more about this program.

Risk of Myocarditis or Pericarditis

In Canada, there have been reports of some people experiencing myocarditis or pericarditis after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. These reports have most often been in males 29 and younger within one week of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. These reports have been very rare and most have experienced mild symptoms and made quick recoveries.

Data shows that this occurrence is more common in young people after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine compared to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Out of an abundance of caution, on September 29, 2021, the province of Ontario provided recommendation for the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be limited to those 30 and older.

The benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine continue to outweigh any potential risks. Vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine is highly recommended for all eligible residents.

Learn about eligibility of the COVID-19 vaccine and find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near you.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and your personal health, speak with your health care provider or connect with a health care provider or registered nurse virtually. 

Additional resources of the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination:


COVID-19 Vaccines Webinar Resources

Paediatric (ages 5-11) COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session – December 9, 2021 Webinar recording with Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health

Risk of Myocarditis Following COVID-19 Vaccine – July 14 Webinar recording with Dr. Salvaterra, Previous Medical Officer of Health

COVID-19 Vaccines & You (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) – January 15, 2021 Webinar recording with Dr. Salvaterra, Previous Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health

COVID-19 Vaccines & You (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) – January 15, 2021 Slide deck from webinar with Dr. Salvaterra, Previous Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health

COVID-19 Vaccines & You (AstraZeneca & Janssen) – March 18, 2021 Webinar recording with Dr. Salvaterra


Consult a Health Care Provider

Have a question about your health and the COVID-19 vaccine?

Consult a Physician: The Scarborough Health Network has created a vaccine confidence clinic, called VaxFacts, to help patients who are on the fence about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. It provides an opportunity for a one-to-one, judgment-free phone call with a physician to address any questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. The clinic has successfully counselled hundreds of patients and is now available nationwide.

Make an appointment:

  1. 416-438-2911, extension 5738
  2.  Or visit Access the VaxFacts Clinic website.

Consult a Paediatric Registered Nurse (RN): The SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service is a by-appointment phone service that provides a safe, judgement-free space to have an open conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine for children and youth. It is available in multiple languages, using over-the-phone language interpretation.

We are here to support residents of Ontario 5 years or older and their parents, caregivers or legal guardians who:

  • Have specific questions or concerns related to the COVID-19 vaccine for youth/children that you cannot find the answer to elsewhere.
  • Have complex medical histories or medical conditions (i.e. chronic illness) and/or their parents/caregivers.
  • Require additional support for their COVID-19 vaccine due to medical complexity, developmental disorder or mobility, communication, behavioural or other specialized needs, including significant needle phobia.

Book a consultation online or call 437-881-3505 to schedule an appointment.

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