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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.

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, AstraZeneca and Janssen 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.

Throughout the month of May, more Halton residents will become eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a Halton Region Vaccination Clinic, as the Region aligns its vaccination program with the Province’s accelerated rollout (external link). By the week of May 24, all residents age 16 or older will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment online. All appointments will be contingent on vaccine supply.

Halton Region is currently implementing Phase II 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 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

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, AstraZeneca and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by Health Canada (external link) 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.

Yes. When eligible, 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.

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.

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.

Vaccines can cause mild side effects similar to COVID-19 symptoms, such as headache, fatigue and muscle aches. These side effects are normal signs that the vaccine is working and your body is building protection.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms in the 48 hours after vaccination, use the table below to determine if you should self-isolate (external PDF).

Situation Action

The following symptoms develop only after vaccination AND you have not had a high-risk exposure with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days:

  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, sore throat)
  • Loss of taste or smell

Self-isolate (external PDF) immediately for 10 days and get tested for COVID-19.

The following symptoms develop only after vaccination AND you have not had a high-risk exposure with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days:

  • Fever

Self-isolate (external PDF) while you are experiencing the fever.

If the fever worsens or lasts longer than 48 hours, self-isolate (external PDF), get tested and seek medical evaluation as needed.

The following symptoms develop only after vaccination AND you have not had a high-risk exposure with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days:

  • Mild symptoms, such as:
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle ache
    • Joint pain

If symptoms worsen or last longer than 48 hours, self-isolate (external PDF), get tested and seek medical evaluation as needed.

If you have had close contact with someone who tested positive in the last 14 days you are required to self-isolate (external PDF), even if you have received a vaccine.

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

If you have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine only, you must continue to follow all public health guidance, including self-isolation. If you have had close contact with someone who tested positive in the last 14 days you are required to self-isolate (external PDF) and should get tested for COVID-19.

If you have been fully vaccinated (i.e. received two doses) and have had close contact with someone who tested positive in the last 14 days, follow this guidance:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are required to self-isolate (external PDF) and get tested for COVID-19.
  • If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you should:
    • Get tested for COVID-19;
    • Report your exposure to your employer;
    • Self-isolate (external PDF) if directed by Public Health or if you develop symptoms.

Those who have been vaccinated must still follow all public health guidelines, gathering limits and other COVID-19 restrictions.

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.

Eligibility in Halton Region

Halton Region is following the Province’s implementation plan, including prioritization. For information on groups that are currently eligible for vaccination, please check our Who is currently eligible in Halton webpage.

Please note: Public Health is unable to provide any exceptions.

Halton region is following the eligibility criteria outlined by the province (external link). We are unable to provide exceptions. Public Health does not provide exemption notes.

As more vaccine is made available by the Province, Halton Region will continue to work with partners to provide the vaccine to priority populations as quickly as possible. For information on groups that are currently eligible for vaccination, please check our Who is currently eligible in Halton webpage.

Adults receiving chronic home care (through a Local Health Integration Network or Home Care Agency) can book an appointment online at any of our community clinic locations.

If you are a Halton resident and eligible for vaccination, you can either book an appointment at a location in the community, or at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital location, online at halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination in Congregate Settings, Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes in Halton Region section for more information.

Staff and essential caregivers who received their first dose at a long-term care home, retirement home or congregate living setting should check our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics page regularly to see when they are able to book their second dose appointment. This feature is coming soon.

Staff and essential caregivers can receive their second dose 16 weeks after they received the first dose. Directors of Care will not be contacting staff and essential caregivers to book their second appointment.

Individuals part of an eligible group that are 16 and 17 can get vaccinated. Proof of age is required and will affect the vaccine you receive. Pfizer-BioNTech has been approved for individuals 16 years and older, while Moderna has been approved for individuals 18 years and older.

Yes. Individuals part of an eligible group can be vaccinated, regardless of their citizenship status.

When booking your appointment, please make sure that you will still be living or working in Halton for your second dose appointment. Doses are given 16 weeks apart, and should be the same type of vaccine for your first and second dose.

Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Eligible residents can book an appointment online at Halton’s COVID-19 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. For information on groups that are currently eligible for vaccination, please check our Who is currently eligible in Halton webpage.

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 who is eligible that may require assistance with booking an appointment, please reach out and help them register for the program.

You are required to bring a piece of identification, or combination of documents, that include a photo, full legal name and date of birth. Accepted documents include but are not limited to:

  • health card
  • 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

You are also required to bring proof that you are part of an eligible group, such as proof that you live in Halton. If you do not provide documents that prove your eligibility to be vaccinated, you must sign a declaration of eligibility at the vaccination clinic.

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

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.

When booking your appointment, please make sure that you will still be in living or working in Halton for your second dose appointment. Doses are given 16 weeks apart, and should be the same type of vaccine for your first and second dose.

Currently, Halton Region’s vaccination appointment system books first and second doses at the same time. At this time, we are unable to book just one appointment within the system.

Currently, Halton Region’s vaccination appointment system books first and second doses at the same time. At this time, we are unable to book just one appointment within the system. Once this feature is available, more information will be posted on halton.ca/COVID19vaccines on how to book a second dose appointment.

Note: If you received your first dose outside of Halton, your second dose will be subject to the eligibility requirements and dose interval rules of Halton Region. You will need to provide proof that you received your first dose, including which vaccine type you received. If possible, you are encouraged to get your second dose from the same place where you got your first dose to ensure you can get the same vaccine type for both doses.

Starting Friday May 7, eligible residents will have the option to book same-day (“last minute”) vaccine appointments. This option is only available to those who are currently eligible. These appointments will become available when there are last minute cancellations at a vaccination clinic. This type of appointment booking can be used for first dose appointments only.

Same-day (“last minute”) appointments are only available if cancellations have occurred at a clinic. If you select this option, you must arrive at the clinic within 30 minutes of booking and go to the vaccine clinic selected.

If you have another appointment scheduled at a Halton Region Vaccination clinic or pharmacy, please cancel your appointment by calling 311 as soon as possible so someone else who is eligible can get the vaccine.

Yes. A process has been developed to have paramedics vaccinate individuals who are homebound. Homebound individuals are those who have physical challenges/immobility issues and cannot be transported to a clinic. Each eligible homebound patient can have up to two caregivers immunized with them at their home.

To arrange for vaccination, the primary health care provider of the homebound individual is required to complete a ‘Physician Request Form for COVID-19 Vaccination of Homebound Patients’ and to submit it to paramedicmobileclinic@halton.ca. For further details about this process, have your physician refer to the April 23, 2021 e-fax to physicians. Please contact 311 for any questions about this process.   

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