Covid-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 – Vaccine Info

Last reviewed/updated: 3:28 pm, January 15, 2021

COVID-19 vaccination information is changing rapidly in Canada and locally. This page is regularly monitored and updated to keep up with this information.

Local COVID-19 Vaccine Status
About Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan
Vaccine Safety
COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources 

Local COVID-19 Vaccine Status

At this time, there is no COVID-19 vaccine in Peterborough. It is expected to arrive in the next three to four weeks, an exact date has yet to be announced. All COVID-19 vaccine administration plans are contingent on COVID-19 vaccine supply and Ministry of Health plans for distribution.

Who is first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Peterborough?

Plans are being made for the first distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine locally. Long-term care residents, staff, and essential caregivers will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Peterborough. If you are part of this population, you will be contacted with more information on when and where you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine along with details of the COVID-19 vaccine you will be receiving.

There is no registration list available at this time to sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine locally. The vaccine will be distributed to populations of highest priority and based on vaccine supply. As more vaccines become available in Peterborough there will be updates made to alert residence. Peterborough Public Health is committed to remaining transparent on vaccine distribution locally. Please continue to review this webpage and follow Peterborough Public Health on social media for updates on COVID-19 vaccine availability.

About Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

Pfizer-BioNTech

On December 9, 2020, Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in prevention of the COVID-19 virus. For more information visit:

Moderna

On December 23, 2020, Health Canada approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use in prevention of COVID-19. For more information on this vaccine, visit:

Learn how the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine uses mRNA technology to train your immune system to detect and defend against COVID-19.

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Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

The Government of Ontario has created a Vaccine Distribution Plan. The plan will be a 3 phased approach.

Phase 1: High-risk population vaccination
December 2020 – March 2021

Priority Populations:

  • Residents, staff, and essential care givers of older adult congregate living settings
  • Healthcare workers
  • First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations
  • Adult recipients of chronic home healthcare

Phase 2: Expanded populations
March 2021 – July 2021

Priority Populations:

  • Older adults beginning at age 80 and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of this phase
  • People living or working in congregate living settings (ie. group homes, shelters, etc.)
  • Frontline essential workers (ie. first responders, educators, food processing industry)
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers

Phase 3: Steady state
August 2021 and beyond

Priority Populations:

  • Remaining residents who wish to be vaccinated

Learn more about Ontario’s plan for the COVID-19 vaccine

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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.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by Health Canada. This vaccine has been rigorously studied and the side effects are similar to those of other vaccines. These side effects are generally mild and short lived. The most common side effects include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and fever. This vaccine will continue to be monitored as the product is more widely used.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has also been approved by Health Canada. This vaccine has been rigorously studied and the side effects are similar to those of other vaccines. These side effects are generally mild and short lived. The most common side effects include pain at the injection site, body chills, feeling tired, and feeling feverish. This vaccine will continue to be monitored as the product is more widely used.

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.

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.

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COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ

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

Peterborough Public Health will begin by vaccinating those in Phase 1 of the Ontario COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, which includes:

  1. – Long term care home and retirement home residents
  2. – Healthcare workers and essential caregivers
  3. – Adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations

Residents, staff, and essential caregivers of long-term care homes will be the first to be vaccinated in Peterborough. If you are part of this population, you will be contacted with more information on when and where you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine along with details of the COVID-19 vaccine you will be receiving.

At this time, there is no registration list available to sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine locally. The vaccine will be distributed to populations of highest priority and based on vaccine supply. As more vaccines become available in Peterborough there will be updates made to alert residence. Peterborough Public Health is committed to remaining transparent on vaccine distribution locally. Please continue to review this webpage and follow Peterborough Public Health on social media for updates on COVID-19 vaccine availability.

  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

  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.

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

No. The COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.  The two vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada 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.

  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 not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about the ingredients in the vaccine.

Here is the ingredient list for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

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

You should not receive COVID-19 vaccines if you have a history of anaphylaxis, or known hypersensitivity to a vaccine component. Speak to your HCP if you have an autoimmune disease, are immunocompromised or receiving immunosuppressant therapy, are on blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder.

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

Pregnant and Breastfeeding individuals were excluding from the Phase 3 clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines. However, if a pregnant individual would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine they must review the COVID-19 vaccine information with their healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine. Breastfeeding individuals should review the COVID-19 vaccine information with their healthcare provider before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

  1. If I have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in the past can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Individuals with previously PCR-confirmed COVID-19 can still receive the vaccine. However, as a precautionary measure and in light of the need to be able to monitor for COVID-19 vaccine adverse events without potential confounding from symptoms of COVID-19 or other co-existing illnesses, and to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at the time of immunization, NACI recommends that it is prudent to wait until all symptoms of an acute illness are completely resolved before vaccinating with COVID-19 vaccine.1 Also as per NACI, in the context of limited supply, to allow for the protection of a larger number of at-risk individuals, vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine may be delayed for 3 months following a PCR-confirmed infection, as reinfections reported to date have been rare within the first three months following infection

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

Public Health recommends that after receiving the vaccine you must continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. This is because:
1) Current guidelines are based on case numbers not immunization rates. COVID-19 regulations will remain in place at this time. Once you receive the COVID-19 vaccine you will still be required to follow public health measures. The province will continuously review COVID-19 cases and regulations.
2) COVID-19 immunization in combination with mask use, washing hands regularly, and staying 2m distance will provide the best protection against COVID-19.  Experts need a better understanding of how long a vaccine provides immunity for and how many people in the population should receive the vaccine to provide community protection before regulations will be lifted.

  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 or 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.

COVID-19 Vaccines Resources

 

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