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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
Getting Vaccinated

COVID-19 Safety and Availability

Page last updated: June 10, 2021

When and where can I get vaccinated?

Visit our Bookings and Eligibility page to find out if you are eligible and book an appointment, or pre-register if you are not yet eligible.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved in Canada have undergone the protocols of various levels of trials, following scientific processes and due diligence. All safety protocols have been followed and there have been no compromises in making the vaccine available to the general public. Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19. Vaccines that have been approved in Canada include:

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe for Kids? – Ontario’s pediatricians answer frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

Only vaccines that are proven safe, effective, and of high quality will be approved for use in Canada. Learn about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccine authorization updates from the Government of Canada.

Why should I get vaccinated?

Vaccines provide immunity and protect us, and our communities from contracting and spreading illness.

It is critical to get the COVID-19 vaccine, when your turn comes, so that you can protect yourself, your family, friends, and community from the infection. Widespread vaccination is essential to improve community immunity and end the pandemic. Even if you are not concerned about the virus, getting vaccinated will help stop the spread and protect those you love, who may be more vulnerable to severe illness or death.

While the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in a short time frame they have undergone the protocols of various levels of trials, following scientific processes and due diligence. All safety protocols have been followed and there have been no compromises in making the vaccine available to the general public.

For more information, review the Facts About Vaccines, from Health Canada.

Should I be concerned about potential side effects?

Potential side effects of COVID-19 vaccines include mild reactions such as headache, fever, fatigue or pain at the injection site.

On May 11, the province announced a pause in the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The province is reviewing data in collaboration with health experts at Public Health Ontario, the Science Advisory Table and our federal, provincial and territorial partners, to consider options for the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for second doses and more broadly moving forward. Data from the UK points to a much-reduced risk of VITT in second doses of AstraZeneca, and we look forward to receiving direction from the province regarding individuals waiting for their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Those who received their first dose with the AstraZeneca vaccine did absolutely the right thing to prevent illness, and to protect their families, loved ones and communities.

When will it be my turn to get the vaccine?

Anyone ages 12 and over is now eligible for vaccine. Individuals who are eligible but do not yet have a first dose appointment or are eligible for an accelerated second dose may choose to register on our weekly standby list.

Did you get the AstraZeneca vaccine for your first vaccine dose?

Individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can choose to receive an mRNA vaccine for their second dose through the provincial booking system or return to the same place they received their first dose for a second AstraZeneca dose after a minimum of 12 weeks after the first dose.

Are you Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) supports the use of all available COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada in any trimester of pregnancy and during breastfeeding if clients are eligible and no contraindications exist. Please see this HPEPH document on vaccination risks and benefits.

Are you a young person looking for information on COVID-19 vaccines?

Are you between the ages of 12 and 17 and looking for some information on COVID-19 vaccines? If so, please take a peek at the resources below. We hope to see all of you at a clinic soon.

Are you nervous about getting a vaccine? That is totally normal. This document has some great ideas for preparing for your appointment such as make sure you have a good meal before you attend and maybe bring a phone or book.

What about the accelerated second dose schedule?

Resources

Please check back for regular updates as more details are available.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 are currently eligible to book a first dose appointment. Individuals aged 70 and over as well as anyone who received their first vaccine on or before April 18th are now eligible to book their second dose on an accelerated schedule. To book, visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or call  1-833-943-3900.

There is currently a high demand for vaccination appointments in our region. If no appointments are available, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter to be notified when new clinic dates are added. Please do not call HPEPH to book. For more information, please visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/vaccine-booking/

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at Ontario.ca/bookvaccine.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals 18 and over can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Select pharmacies are also offering vaccinations to youth aged 12 – 17. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021. For more information, read the media release.

While the provincial Stay at Home Order has been lifted, public health precautions must be maintained. Close contact must be limited to those within your household. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 5 people, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.