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COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Breadcrumbs
 
This page includes answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination, vaccine safety, and the latest information on Halton’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Don’t see an answer to your question here? You can always email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311.

COVID-19 vaccination

Canada

canada.ca/covid19 (external link)

  • Approve vaccines for use in Canada
  • Procure vaccines nationally
  • Distribute vaccines to Provinces/Territories
  • Provide NACI recommendations on prioritization of administration to the Provinces/Territories

Ontario

ontario.ca/covid19 (external link)

  • Receive vaccine from Federal Government
  • Prioritize rollout across Ontario, including who gets the vaccine, when and where
  • Distribute vaccine to public health units, hospitals and pharmacies
  • Responsible for vaccine tracking, provincial booking system & call centre and healthcare records management

Halton Region

halton.ca/covid19

  • Receive vaccine from the Province of Ontario
  • Safely store and transport vaccine received from Province
  • Administer vaccines in accordance with the Provincially mandated prioritization framework
  • Coordinate with local hospitals and other healthcare providers

As part of Halton’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, we are continuing to plan for the respectful delivery and roll out of vaccine clinics for all of the populations listed under the Province’s prioritization plan, including all First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Peoples living within Halton. Staff have consulted with Indigenous communities and organizations to solicit guidance on how best to implement the recommendations provided by the Provincial Urban Indigenous Vaccine Distribution Sub-Tables. Together with these partners, Halton Region continues to plan for opening up vaccine clinics to all Indigenous adults. This will be coordinated based on sufficient and stable receipt of vaccine allocations from the Province and made in consultation with our COVID-19 Elder Advisory Group composed of Elders and Knowledge Keepers from communities and organizations in the area, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Credit River Métis Council and Indigenous People living in Halton. We will continue to provide updates on halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

Evidence has shown that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada, are safe, effective and lifesaving (WHO, 2021).

It is in everyone’s best interest that anyone who is eligible get vaccinated for COVID-19. The more opportunity the coronavirus has to spread, the more it can mutate into new variants of the virus.

Vaccination is very important, even if you have been previously infected with COVID-19. While infection alone provides some protection, vaccination after infection helps improve the immune response and may provide better and longer-lasting protection against current and future variants of the virus.

When you should get your next dose of vaccine depends on when you had COVID-19. Learn more about vaccination timing for individuals who previously had a COVID-19 infection.

Fear of needles is very common. However, it’s important that fear of needles doesn’t interfere with good health. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms.

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

  • Eat a snack before you come to your appointment.
  • 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.

Sedation is not an available option at any of our clinics.

It is unknown if the COVID-19 vaccination will become an annual vaccination, like the flu shot. It is too early to know the duration of protection COVID-19 vaccines offer, as these vaccines are new and are still being studied.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly encouraged.

Workplaces:

Public settings:

Learn how to get your COVID-19 enhanced vaccine certificate.

A person is considered to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when it has been at least 14 days since they received their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine series and they had:

  1. A full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or any combination of COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by Health Canada
  2. One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved for use by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine approved for use by Health Canada, or
  3. Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by use by Health Canada

Additional doses of COVID-9 vaccine help to increase protection against symptomatic infection and severe illness, and helps to reduce transmission in our community. Stay up to date by getting all vaccines you are recommended for as soon as you are eligible.

If a client 12 years of age or older is not able to provide informed consent to receive the vaccines, and requires a parent/legal guardian/substitute decision maker to provide informed consent on their behalf, a COVID-19 consent form should be completed and brought to the clinic (PDF file).

Getting vaccinated in Halton Region

Yes. The COVID-19 in-home vaccination service is available for individuals who are homebound. Eligible residents12 years of age or older can submit a request for the COVID-19 in-home vaccination service by completing the COVID-19 in-home vaccination service form.

For more information about this program, visit COVID-19 vaccination clinic webpage.

Select primary care offices are offering COVID-19 vaccines to community members (please refer to our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics webpage). Vaccine supply is limited and available by appointment only.

If you’re interested in vaccinating some of your patients Halton Region Public Health can support you with infection prevention and control measures and COVax training.

Please send an email to doctors@halton.ca and Halton Region Public Health will contact your clinic to discuss administering COVID-19 vaccines in your clinic.

No. Parking is free of charge at all Halton Region COVID-19 vaccination clinic locations.

Anyone who lives, works or attends school in Halton region is eligible to be vaccinated regardless of their citizenship status or whether or not they have an Ontario Health Card.

If you do not have a health card, bring a piece of identification, or combination of documents, that include a photo, full legal name and date of birth such as:

  • 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

Electronic versions of documents are accepted. Expired government issued identify documents are also accepted.

For more information, please refer to the Preparing for your vaccination appointment webpage.

COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility

Yes. Pregnant individuals and their babies have a higher risk of developing severe complications (requiring hospitalization or intensive care) and death from a COVID-19 infection compared to non-pregnant individuals. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you and your baby from these complications.

Several studies and real-world data have not found any safety concerns for the pregnant individual or their baby.

Experts like the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) (external PDF) and National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (external link) strongly recommend pregnant people get a complete COVID-19 vaccine series.

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and highly recommended if you are breastfeeding. Antibodies made by the mother’s body after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine have been shown to pass into the breastmilk, which provides protection to your baby. It is safe to continue breastfeeding after COVID-19 vaccination.

Experts like the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) (external PDF) and National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (external link) strongly recommend getting vaccinated while breastfeeding. It’s important to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect you and your baby.

COVID-19 vaccines do not cause male or female infertility and there is no evidence to suggest that they will cause infertility. In fact, getting fully vaccinated before you conceive will protect you and your future baby from the risk of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

Vaccine policies and proof of vaccination

While proof of vaccination requirements have been lifted for all settings in Ontario as of March 1, 2022, employers may continue to implement a vaccination policy for employees. Vaccination policies for workers are separate from proof of vaccination requirements for patrons.

Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, has recommended that all local employers address the need for a workplace vaccination policy to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

When determined by the employer to be reasonably necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, workplace policies can require workers to provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19.

In some workplaces vaccination may be mandatory, meaning that workers must provide proof of vaccination subject only to the employer’s obligation to provide accommodation under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Other workplaces may encourage but not require vaccination. An employer may establish different rules or requirements for unvaccinated workers (for example, use of additional personal protective equipment, worker relocation and modified work or reassignments, etc.).

Your employer’s decision to implement such a policy, and the details of that policy, may be informed by a number of factors such as the type of workplace and the risks it presents for transmitting COVID-19, the work of the workers and consideration of the duty to accommodate (if applicable).

Workplace vaccination policies should adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (external link), the Ontario Human Rights Code (external link) and privacy laws (external link).

All residents who have been vaccinated in Ontario are able to access proof of their vaccination through the provincial vaccination website (external link).

Youth Vaccination Program (12-17 years old)

For FAQs related to children aged 5-11 years old, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines4kids.

COVID-19 vaccines are only provided if informed consent is received from the person to be vaccinated, including those aged 12 to 17, and as long as the youth has the capacity to make this decision. This means that they understand:

  • what vaccination involves,
  • why it is being recommended; and
  • the risks and benefits of accepting or refusing to be vaccinated.

Even if the youth is able to provide informed consent, they should talk about this decision with their parent/guardian or an adult they trust such as a principal or a teacher.

If a youth, 12 years of age or older, is not able to provide informed consent to receive the vaccines, and requires a parent/legal guardian/substitute decision maker to provide informed consent on their behalf, a COVID-19 consent form should be completed and brought to the clinic (PDF file). To help youth and families make an informed decisions, please refer to:

Yes. Those who previously tested positive for COVID-19 should be vaccinated to protect themselves and others. There are severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and re-infection with COVID-19 may be possible. Information on when to receive a COVID vaccination is available on the Vaccine Eligibility and Recommendations web page.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, should not go to a vaccine clinic. Please wait until you are no longer in self-isolation and are feeling well before getting your vaccine.

No. COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. At this time, youth are not required to be immunized for COVID-19 in order to attend school under Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) (external link).

Yes. Many pharmacies in Halton Region are now administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals who have turned 5 and older. Visit covid-19.ontario.ca (external link) for more information on participating locations.

Where to get help if you have questions about getting vaccinated for COVID-19

If you have questions or concerns about getting vaccinated for COVID-19, you can:

  • speak with your primary health care provider (for example, family doctor, nurse practitioner, midwife); or
  • connect by phone with a trained health care provider who can offer accurate information on getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as listed below.
Agency Who this service is for Type of support How to book an appointment Helpful information
Scarborough Health Network – VaxFacts (external link)
  • All ages
20 minute, 1:1 telephone consultation with a doctor
  • Free to anyone living in Canada
  • No Ontario Health Card required
  • Language support available
  • 7 days/week, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hospital for Sick Kids (external link)
  • Youth 5 years or older
  • Parent, caregiver, or legal guardian of a child or youth
  • Provide support for youth/children with complex medical histories or medical conditions, including fear of needles.
Telephone consultation with a paediatric Registered Nurse
  • Free to anyone living in Ontario
  • No Ontario Health Card required
  • Need to complete Intake form
  • Language support available
  • Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
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