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This page includes important information you need to know about preparing for COVID-19 vaccination.

Talk to your health care provider if required

Do not get the COVID-19 vaccine if you:

It is strongly recommended that you speak with your treating health care provider if you have an autoimmune condition or immunodeficiency condition and are receiving any of the following treatments:

  • stem cell therapy
  • CAR-T therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • monoclonal antibodies (e.g., rituximab) and other targeted agents (e.g., CD4/6 inhibitors, PARP inhibitors etc.)

You may choose to consult with your treating health care provider prior to vaccination if you:

  • have an autoimmune condition or immunodeficiency condition but are not receiving any of the treatments listed above;
  • have a history of allergic reactions not related to the COVID-19 vaccine; or
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are thinking about having a baby, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding the COVID-19 Vaccine: Preconception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Fact Sheet (PDF file) can help you make an informed decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Screen for COVID-19 symptoms before going to a vaccination clinic

Please do not attend a vaccine clinic if you are not feeling well. For a quicker check-in process, complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool before arriving at the clinic. Show clinic staff an electronic or printed version of your passing result. If you are unable to complete the screening tool in advance, clinic staff will screen you onsite prior to entering the clinic.

Individuals attending a clinic as a support (for example, caregiver) are also asked to complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool before arriving at the vaccine clinic and show proof that they passed screening.

Anyone who does not pass the screening test will not be permitted to enter the vaccine clinic and will be advised to follow public health direction and reschedule at a later date.

How to prepare for your vaccination

  • Dress for the weather, you may need to wait outside. Provincial pop-up clinics are located outdoors.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing that can be easily rolled up to access your upper arm
  • Do not wear any scented products
  • Please do not bring friends or family with you unless you need support, such as language support. To maintain physical distancing only a limited number of people will be allowed in the clinic.
  • Eat a meal or snack before getting vaccinated.

What to bring to your vaccination

Please bring the following items to the vaccination clinic:

  • An Ontario Health card is the preferred form of identification. If you do not have a health card, then bring a piece of identification, or combination of documents, that include a photo, full legal name and date of birth. Electronic versions are accepted, as well as expired government-issued identity documents. Accepted documents include but are not limited to:
    • driver’s license
    • piece of registered mail
    • pay stub
    • student card
    • other government issued identification, including out-of- province I.D.s or foreign national passports
  • A mask
  • Reading glasses and/or hearing aid if required
  • Assistive devices as needed (for example, wheelchair, cane)

Individuals who are eligible for a third dose must bring a completed referral form (PDF file) from their health care practitioner.

What to expect at the vaccination clinic

Upon arrival, all residents, including individuals support persons (for example, caregiver) will be actively screened (external PDF). Individuals who do not pass the screening test, will not be permitted to enter the vaccine clinic and will be advised to follow public health direction and reschedule at a later date.

  • Expect to be at the vaccine clinic approximately for 30 minutes.
  • Wear a mask at all times.
  • If you require support, please only bring one person with you.

If you are anxious about vaccinations, follow these tips (external PDF):

  • Eat a snack before you are vaccinated.
  • Get comfortable. Sit up in your chair. Make your arm loose or jiggly.
  • If you feel dizzy, tense your stomach and leg muscles.
  • Try belly breathing (pretend to blow out a candle).
  • Do some self-talk. Tell yourself that you can handle this!
  • Allow yourself to daydream while you are getting your vaccine.

Know what to expect after your vaccination

Vaccines can cause mild side effects such as headache, fatigue and muscle aches. These side effects are normal signs that the vaccine is working and your body is building protection. Knowing what to expect will help you prepare for your COVID-19 vaccine. Read What to expect after getting your vaccine (PDF file) for more information.

Continue to follow public health measures, even after vaccination

Vaccination does not replace the public health measures that remain critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19. After you get the vaccine, continue to follow public health measures, such as practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask and following good hand hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gathering limits still apply to those who have been vaccinated.

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