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

Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

On February 22, Halton Region announced four locations to serve as vaccination clinics for priority populations. Clinic locations have been selected based on accessibility, and the ability to support health and safety measures and efficient clinic operations. These are initial locations and others may be identified as required.

Our clinics will open gradually over the next two weeks and opening dates are dependent on supply available from the Federal and Provincial Governments. Information on clinic opening dates will be available on our website as details are confirmed.
 

Halton Region is following the Province’s implementation plan, including prioritization. To be eligible at our vaccination clinics you must be:

  • 80 years of age or older (those born in or before 1941); and
  • a resident of Halton Region.

Refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for more information on who is eligible to receive a vaccine. 

Halton Region Public Health and Paramedic Services continue mobile vaccination for residents in long-term care and retirement homes. Halton Healthcare is continuing its COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital for priority healthcare workers and adults receiving chronic home care. 

Eligible residents will be able to book an appointment online at halton.ca/COVIDvaccines or Halton’s COVID-10 Vaccination Clinic webpage. Halton residents can also call 311 if they require booking support. Please only call 311 if you are unable to book online to ensure those requiring support can be assisted.

Appointments will be available on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. As more clinics open, additional appointment times will become available. 

You do not need a referral from your doctor to book an appointment to be vaccinated. 

Yes. You can book an appointment on behalf of someone else. One person may accompany the person being vaccinated to the appointment, if assistance is required. Only the eligible person will be vaccinated.  
 
If you know anyone 80 years of age or older that may require assistance with booking an appointment, please reach out and help them register for the program.
 
At this time, you can only attend a clinic within Halton Region.
 
Currently, Halton residents 80 years old or older (those born in or before 1941) are eligible for our vaccination clinics.
 
As vaccine supply increases, eligibility will be opened up to include other age groups.
We are working with our local partners to provide transportation services specialized transit services and local taxi services, free of charge, for those who require it.
 
Learn more about transportation options for Halton COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
 
Please note: Halton residents will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from vaccination clinics.
 
We recognize that getting to a clinic is not easy for everyone. We continue to plan and work with partners to determine more options for our residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

These plans are dependent on supplies and on type of vaccine available to us. Halton Region is currently using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires specific fridges and is not easily transported within the community.

More information will be provided on these options as details are confirmed.
 
We recognize that getting to a clinic is not easy for everyone. We continue to plan and work with partners to determine more options for our residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

These plans are dependent on supplies and on type of vaccine available to us. Halton Region is currently using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires specific fridges and is not easily transported within the community.

More information will be provided on these options as details are confirmed.
Halton Region has been following direction from the Province, including prioritization of populations who are at most risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19.

Since late December 2020, Halton Healthcare has been focused on administering the vaccine to prioritized healthcare workers, including staff and essential caregivers of long-term care and retirement homes. Since early January, Halton Region Public Health and Paramedic Services have been focused on administering the vaccine to residents in long-term care and retirement homes.

Following the provincial direction to complete these priority groups, and with renewed supply from the Federal Government, Halton Region has been preparing vaccination clinics for the next prioritized group identified by the Province, including older adults aged 80 years and older.

All these programs remain contingent on ongoing and predictable supply of vaccine from the Federal Government.
Adults receiving chronic home care (through a Local Health Integration Network or Home Care Agency) who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be called by Halton Healthcare in the next few weeks to book an appointment at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.
 
If you are 80 years or older (those born in or before 1941), you can either book an appointment at a location in the community online at halton.ca/COVIDvaccines or wait for Halton Healthcare to call and book your appointment at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.
You will be asked to provide an OHIP number or alternative form of identification number when booking your appointment.
 
Please bring your OHIP card with you to your vaccine appointment.
 
If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of a government issued-photo ID such as:
  • a driver’s license
  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • out-of-province health care number
  • employee ID
  • Medical Record Number
First Nation Identification Number

Call 311 to rebook or cancel an appointment at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccine clinic. You cannot cancel or reschedule using the online booking system.

Call Halton Healthcare at 905-203-7965 to rebook or cancel an appointment at the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

At this time, the booking system requires each individual to book separately so that the necessary details for each person are entered into the system. There are multiple appointments for each timeslot in the system. We recommend couples try to select a time slot on a later date (i.e., not the first available) as it may not fill up as quickly. Couples can also call 311 for assistance with their bookings if necessary.

No. When booking your first appointment, the online booking system will automatically book your second vaccination appointment for you. You do not need to book your second dose appointment online.

The online booking system is for booking first doses only. If you have already received your first dose at another location, please book your second dose at the same location you received your first dose.

The confirmation email should arrive shortly after booking your appointment, but it may be delayed. Please check your spam folder since the confirmation email might be mistaken as junk mail.

If it has been longer than 24 hours and you still have not received your email confirmation, please call 311.

The Province determines who is eligible for vaccination and when. Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers will soon be eligible for vaccination as part of Phase 2 of the Province’s three-phased vaccination plan (external link). Individuals receiving chronic home care through a Local Health Integration Network or Home Care Agency are currently eligible, and will be contacted by Halton Healthcare to book an appointment.

For information on groups that are currently eligible for vaccination, please check our Who is currently eligible in Halton webpage.

As more vaccine is made available from the Province, Halton Region will continue to work with partners to provide the vaccine to priority populations as quickly as possible. As details are confirmed, Halton Region Public Health will provide updates to the community on who is eligible, and when and where individuals with chronic health conditions can get a vaccine.

We recognize that getting to a clinic is not easy for everyone. We continue to plan and work with partners on how to provide vaccines to individuals who are unable to attend a clinic.

These plans are dependent on supplies and on type of vaccine available to us. Halton Region is currently using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires specific fridges and is not easily transported within the community.

More information will be provided on these options as details are confirmed.

Currently, healthcare workers that have been designated as highest priority or very high priority by the provincial government are eligible for vaccination in Halton Region. Refer to the Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers (external PDF) for more information.

Please check our Who is currently eligible in Halton webpage for updates on who is currently eligible for vaccination.

If you are eligible, please book your appointment with Halton Healthcare by calling 905-203-7965. Please do not call if you are not currently eligible.

Halton Region is currently using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires specific fridges and is not easily transported within the community. For this reason, Healthcare providers are not able to offer vaccinations at their clinics at this time.

As additional vaccines are made available in Halton that are more transportable, there will be more opportunity for healthcare providers to provide vaccinations in their clinics. Public Health will connect with healthcare providers directly as more information is available.

Healthcare providers and pharmacists can still play an important role in promoting vaccination to their patients. Please refer to our fact sheet for tips on how to support COVID-19 vaccination with your patients (PDF file).

COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccines are safe and reliable, and can both protect you from COVID-19 and make your symptoms milder if you do get it. When a large percentage of the population becomes immune to COVID-19, the spread of the virus will slow down and may stop. As evidence is evolving on COVID-19 vaccines, additional research will help us to determine what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to stop its spread.

Vaccines that have been authorized by Health Canada are safe, reliable and can help protect you, your family and our community from COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by Health Canada after thorough and independent reviews determined that they meet stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

As a reminder, vaccines are just one important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and it is important that we all continue to follow public health measures and take everyday actions to stop the spread of the virus.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. The goal is for every Ontarian to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they want one, as soon as enough doses are available from manufacturers.

Vaccines that have been authorized by Health Canada are safe, reliable and can help protect you, your family and our community from COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by Health Canada after thorough and independent reviews determined that they meet stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

As a reminder, vaccines are just one important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and it is important that we all continue to follow public health measures and take everyday actions to stop the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience the illness of COVID-19. Getting vaccinated can reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 and make your symptoms milder if you do get it.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use a method called messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. The mRNA in the vaccine tells the body’s cells to make "spike proteins," similar to what is found on the COVID-19 virus. The immune system responds to the spike proteins by making antibodies. These new antibodies will break down the spike proteins and get rid of them. The new antibodies will protect against COVID-19 infection in the future. The mRNA is broken down by the body shortly after injection and cannot affect the body’s DNA.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which store the instructions to build spike proteins in RNA, the AstraZeneca vaccine uses DNA. The vaccine uses a harmless virus (called an adenovirus) as a delivery system. This is called a viral vector. Once the vaccine containing the viral vector enters the body, the vector virus produces the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Just like the mRNA vaccines, the immune system responds to the spike proteins by making antibodies. These new antibodies will break down the spike proteins and get rid of them. The new antibodies will protect against COVID-19 infection in the future.

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live vaccines. You cannot get COVID-19 from a vaccine.

Yes. Those who previously tested positive for COVID-19 should still 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.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity developed after having an infection, called natural immunity, is different from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. We need more information on how well the vaccine works to be able to assess how long immunity from the vaccine will last.

Yes, it is important for everyone to continue to practice public health measures even after they have been vaccinated. This includes:

  • covering your mouth and nose with a mask;
  • covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve;
  • washing hands often and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
  • staying at least two metres (six feet) away from others outside of your household;
  • self-isolating when sick; and
  • following all Provincial orders and regulations.

It is very important to understand that while the vaccine will help protect you from becoming severely sick with COVID-19 symptoms, it is possible that you can still spread the virus even after being fully vaccinated. Researchers are still studying what protection the COVID-19 vaccines provide, including whether you can have an asymptomatic infection (no symptoms) and spread the virus to others even though you have been vaccinated. While you may have received the vaccine, there are many others in our community waiting to be vaccinated who are still susceptible to the virus. Continuing to follow public health measures after vaccination will help to protect other members of our community.

Finally, after vaccination, it takes time for your body to build immunity. While you can expect very good protection a few weeks after the first dose of vaccine, full protection is not reached until a person has received both doses of the vaccine. For example, it takes between seven to 10 days after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to be fully protected.

For more information on protecting yourself and others public health guidance, visit halton.ca/COVID19.

  • Dependent upon supply, individuals will receive the second dose between 21-42 days after the initial dose.
  • As more vaccine is made available from the Province, Halton Region will continue to work with partners to provide the vaccine to priority populations as quickly as possible.

The Province is currently advising that second doses should be administered up to 42 days after the first dose.

While the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires 2 doses to be fully immunized (with 95% efficacy or protection), study data has shown that the first dose provides 92% protection, however it is unclear how long this protection will last and studies are ongoing.

Individuals who do not complete their second dose within the 42 day timeframe will not be required to re-start their vaccination series.

Based on study data available, it appears to be 92% protection for the 1st dose and 95% protection with a second dose.

Both approved COVID-19 vaccines have not listed porcine gelatin (a substance derived from pork products commonly used to stabilize vaccines) as a non-medical ingredient.

Many faith-based communities recommend or permit COVID-19 vaccination. Among these are The Canadian Muslim Covid-19 Task Force (CMTF) (external link), The Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America (external PDF), and The Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories (external PDF).

Taking the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. If you are concerned about your faith based or cultural group’s guidance on vaccination, consult relevant leadership within your community or seek additional information before choosing to be vaccinated.

Halton's vaccination program

Halton Region is currently implementing Phase I of the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan. To learn who is currently eligible to get vaccinated visit our Who is currently eligible in Halton page. For information on the number of doses administered to date, see our COVID-19 Vaccination Status.

For information on the implementation of COVID-19 vaccines across Ontario, including distribution plans and identification of eligible populations, please refer to the Province’s three-phased vaccine distribution implementation plan.

Canada

canada.ca/covid19 (external link)

  • Approve vaccines for use in Canada
  • Procure 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 and local hospitals
  • Responsible for vaccine tracking and healthcare records management

Halton Region

halton.ca/covid19

  • Distribute and administer vaccine to long-term care and retirement home residents and staff, contingent on supply
  • Support hospitals in operation of vaccine clinics for prioritized healthcare workers
  • Plan for Phase 2 (expanded priority populations) and Phase 3 (general population) rollout in Halton based on the Province’s plan
  • Safely store vaccine received from the Province

Local Hospitals

Halton Healthcare (external link) & Joseph Bran Hospital (external link)

  • Receive and store Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • Administer Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through hospital clinics to priority populations identified by the Province (not open to the public)

At this time we are not able to provide specific timelines for when different groups will be eligible for vaccination. Timelines are dependent on supply of vaccines.

To learn who is currently eligible to get vaccinated, visit our Who is currently eligible in Halton page.

As more vaccine is made available from the Province, Halton Region will continue to work with partners to provide the vaccine to priority populations as quickly as possible.

When more groups are eligible to receive the vaccine, this will be widely communicated to the public. Visit  Who is currently eligible in Halton for more information.

Halton Region is following the Province’s three-phased implementation plan, including prioritization. Our vaccination clinics and online booking system will be ready to start booking appointments for Halton seniors 80 years of age and older on March 3, 2021. For more information, visit COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics.

Vaccination will begin with those 80 years and over in Phase 1, and will then become available to other older adults in decreasing five-year age increments over the course of Phase 2. As details are confirmed, Halton Region Public Health will provide updates to the community on who is eligible, and when and where older adults can get a vaccine.

The COVID-19 dashboard now includes a “Vaccinations” tab, which displays the number of doses administered in Halton to date, including doses administered by Halton Region mobile teams, and doses administered by Halton Healthcare at their site. The data will be refreshed once a week, on Fridays.

The Province determines supply prioritization and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Both the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are not currently available in Halton. There is currently no information available about when these vaccines will be available in Halton Region.

As more vaccine is made available from the Province, Halton Region will continue to work with partners to provide the vaccine to priority populations as quickly as possible.

The Province determines supply prioritization and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Both the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are not currently available in Halton. There is currently no information available about when these vaccines will be available in Halton Region.< /p>

All of the approved vaccines are safe and effective in protecting against COVID-19. It is important that you receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible.

Mobile teams are only available for a specific pre-determined list of priority location such as long-term care homes, retirement homes and assisted living facilities.

If you are currently eligible for vaccination, please book an appointment to visit one of Halton’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Transportation supports are available free of charge.

Vaccine safety

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by Health Canada use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines “teach” the immune system to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as pain at the injection site, fatigue and/or headaches.

It can take the body a few weeks to build immunity after receiving a vaccine. It is possible that someone could become infected with the COVID-19 virus before or just after getting the vaccine and get sick. This can happen because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection to the body.

Vaccines authorized by Health Canada for use against COVID-19 are safe and effective. While the vaccines are safe for most people, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (external link) recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be routinely offered to the following populations until further evidence is available, as they were not included in clinical trials for the Pfizer BioN Tech vaccine:

  • Under 16 years of age
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding /chestfeeding
  • Immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment, or suffering from autoimmune disorder
    Individuals with stable health conditions such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV and hepatitis B or C, may receive COVID-19 vaccines provided they are not on medications that weaken the immune system.

If you are in one of the populations listed above, consult your healthcare provider before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Your healthcare provider will review the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated based on your health condition.

Halton Region Public Health is not able to provide personal medical consultations. Please speak with your health care provider if you have additional questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

If someone experiences a reaction following vaccination, they should report it to a health care professional, such as a family doctor. The reaction may or may not be caused by the vaccine.

Vaccines that have been authorized by Health Canada are safe, reliable and can help protect you, your family and our community from COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by Health Canada after thorough and independent reviews determined that they meet stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

As the body works to build immunity, it is common to have temporary side effects after receiving many vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine. In clinical trials (external link) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, mild to moderate side effects (such as fever, chills, tiredness and headache) were more common after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

If you have a side effect after receiving the vaccine, contact your health care provider who will report the side effect directly to public health. Public health will keep track of the reported side effects to make sure the vaccine continues to be safe.

While there are recommended timeframes for a second dose, at this time, there is no data about what the maximum interval between doses should be.

In general, a delay in the second dose does not require restarting the vaccination series.

For best results, it is important that everyone receives a second dose and completes the series.

COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada are highly effective in the short term at protecting you from getting sick from COVID-19. After receiving two doses, the vaccines were shown to be 94-95% effective in trials. However, there is a small chance that you can still get a COVID-19 infection after being vaccinated.

More research is being done to learn how effective the vaccines are at providing long-term protection against COVID-19, and whether you can have an asymptomatic (no symptoms) or mild infection even though you have been vaccinated. Until more is known about what protection the COVID-19 vaccines provide, continue to follow public health measures even after you have been vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines will not interfere with tests used to look for infection and will not lead to false positive test results.

People with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies— should get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.

People who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine should not receive the vaccine. Visit the Health Canada web page to learn who should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTechModerna or AstraZeneca vaccines.

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