To debunk misinformation about the numbers of vaccinated versus unvaccinated COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions, Eastern Ontario Health Unit created this video. It has great visuals that show the big difference in rates of vaccinated versus non-fully vaccinated people in hospitals and ICUs.
Dr. Glenn Corneil answers three of the most frequently asked questions about boosters:
- Why are there so many boosters needed for the COVID-19 vaccine?
- If you have already had COVID-19, why do you need to get vaccinated or get a booster?
- Why are so many people still getting COVID-19 even after three doses?
The full text of this video script can be found here:
Check out these great videos to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.
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COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Timiskaming
Please note that masks are required at all COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines? Our clinic is staffed with knowledgeable healthcare workers who would be happy to answer your questions, or please call THU at 866-747-4305 or your health care provider to find out more.
Who is currently eligible?
Everyone aged six months or over at the time of their appointment is currently eligible to receive their primary series (2 doses) at a recommended interval of 2 months.
For more information about who can get vaccinated, click here.
Who can receive their booster dose?
A bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is available in Ontario!
There are currently two bivalent products available to target Omicron BA.1 and BA.45, as well as the original COVID-19 strain. After a thorough and independent scientific review, Health Canada has determined that the bivalent vaccine is safe and effective. Health Canada has approved the bivalent vaccine for use as a booster dose in people aged 5+ if they have completed their primary COVID-19 series.
The recommended interval between your previous dose and the Bivalent Booster is between 3 and 6 months.
If you have had COVID-19, you should wait six months after infection for a booster dose. However, if you are at high risk for COVID infection, you should receive your booster at a minimum interval of 3 months. Your healthcare provider can help you make an informed decision based on your personal circumstances.
You are currently eligible if you belong to one of these priority groups:
- Individuals aged 65 years and older
- Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges, and individuals living in other congregate settings that are 12 years and older
- Individuals 12 years and older with moderately to severely immunocompromising conditions
- Individuals 12 years and older with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-196
- Health care workers7
- Pregnant individuals
- Adults who identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis and their adult non-Indigenous household members
- Adults in racialized and/or marginalized communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19
6 Individuals with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19 may include: those with cardiac or pulmonary disorders, diabetes mellitus and other metabolic diseases, cancer, renal disease, anemia or hemoglobinopathy, neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions, Class 3 obesity (BMI of 40 and over).
7 Health care workers are not at a higher risk of severe outcomes, unless they belong to another high-risk group. However, patient-facing health care workers who care for high-risk patients are recommended to be vaccinated to protect their vulnerable patients and all health care workers are recommended to be vaccinated to ensure health system capacity.
We encourage everyone who is eligible to book online at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ or call the THU booking line at 866-747-4305. Capacity for walk-ins is limited and walk-in appointments will not be guaranteed.
For children aged 5+, a booster dose of the primary COVID-19 vaccine (monovalent vaccine) is encouraged to extend protection against COVID-19. Third doses (booster doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for everyone aged 5 and over if at least 84 days (approximately three months) have passed since your last dose. For children aged 5+, a booster dose of the primary COVID-19 vaccine (monovalent vaccine) is encouraged to extend protection against COVID-19. Third doses (booster doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for everyone aged 5 and over if at least 84 days (approximately three months) have passed since your last dose.
Vaccines are effective at protecting you against severe illness, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19. However, effectiveness decreases over time and two doses is not enough. A booster dose will help protect you from more severe outcomes from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. All Timiskaming residents are strongly encouraged to get a booster dose as soon as eligible.
For more information about who is currently eligible for a booster dose, click here.
What is the suggested timing between a previous COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 vaccination?
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Government of Ontario recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to people who have previously had COVID-19. Immunity from an infection may not last and you can get COVID-19 again. You can get the vaccine as soon as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished self-isolation. The vaccine is safe after a recent COVID-19 infection.
They suggest that you receive your vaccines with this timing:
- If you have not received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is still recommended even if you already had COVID-19. Although you can get the vaccine as soon as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished self-isolation, research suggests that the best immune response is 3-6 months after your COVID-19 infection.
- If you are immunocompromised and have not completed your primary series, it is still recommended that you get vaccinated, even if you already had COVID-19. Although you can get the vaccine as soon as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished self-isolation, research suggests that the best immune response is 3 months after your COVID-19 infection.
- If you have not received your booster, a booster dose is still recommended, even if you already had COVID-19. Although you can get the vaccine as soon as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished self-isolation, research suggests that the best immune response is 3-6 months after your COVID-19 infection for people 18 years of age and over. For people aged 5 to 17, the recommended timing is 6 months after your second dose.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccine administration guidance, click here.
If you have already been infected with COVID-19, you should still get a
You should wait between 3 and 6 months to receive a booster dose after
symptom onset or a positive COVID-19 test. Discussing the best timing for you
with your healthcare provider is important. In certain circumstances, waiting
six months may provide a better immune response.
For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-vaccines#section-4
Who is medically exempt from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination?
The only reasons for a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption are:
- True allergies to vaccines, either to an ingredient of the vaccine, or to your first dose. These allergies would need to be confirmed by a specialist (allergist). Your healthcare provider can refer you if needed.
- A serious adverse event related to your first dose. If this occurs, THU will contact you and advise that you consult with a specialist before you are offered a second dose.
- Pericarditis or myocarditis after your first dose, which would have been confirmed by THU.
For more information or if you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, please call THU at 866-747-4305 or your health care provider.
Vaccines are safe, effective, and the best way to protect you and people around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. This can reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 and make your symptoms milder if you do get it.
Vaccines are an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and to help individuals, families, and workers safely resume normal life. The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps build up your immunity to the virus so your body will fight it off more easily if you are exposed or get sick.
After independent and thorough scientific reviews for safety, efficacy, and quality, Health Canada has approved the following vaccines for use in Canada:
- Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine
- Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
- Novavax Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine
- Medicago Covifenz COVID-19 vaccine
For more information, visit:
Vaccine available to children (ages 6 months to under 5 years)
- Pediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (slightly modified lower dose)
Vaccines available to children (ages 5 to 11)
- Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: recommended for ages 5 to 11
- Pediatric Moderna, with informed consent for ages 6 and over
Vaccines available to youth (ages 12 to 17)
- Pfizer: recommended for ages 12 to 17
- Moderna, with informed consent
Vaccines available to adults (18+)
- Pfizer: recommended for ages 18+
- Moderna: recommended for ages 18+
- Novavax: for people who do not wish to receive an mRNA vaccine, or are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons. If you are interested in receiving this vaccine, please call 866-747-4305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Novavax is a recombinant protein subunit vaccine and is authorized for use in people aged 18 and over. Novavax is given in two doses, 21 days apart. An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) continues to be preferentially recommended. For more information, see Health Canada’s website.
If you cannot get Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax for medical reasons, you can get:
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), with informed consent. You can request this vaccine through THU. It is a one-dose vaccine and a booster shot is recommended after 84 days (three months).
For more information about approved COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
What is an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) and how are AEFIs reported?
An adverse event following immunization (AEFI) is an unwanted or unexpected health effect that happens after someone receives a vaccine. AEFIs may or may not be caused by the vaccine. Monitoring AEFIs is an important step that helps make vaccination programs successful. All clients who receive the COVID-19 vaccine are told to contact their healthcare provider or THU if they experience an AEFI. When a healthcare provider reports an AEFI, they complete a form and then send it to their local public health unit for investigation and assessment.
All AEFIs are thoroughly investigated by public health nurses and signed off by the Medical Officer of Health. Most AEFIs are local reactions that resolve on their own.
Public Health Ontario releases a report about all AEFIs in the province. The report is updated weekly. You can read it here.
For more information about AEFIs and Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine program, click here.
Immunization Update - by the numbers The percent coverage presented on this table includes Timiskaming residents who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of the location of vaccine administration.
The total number of doses includes all doses given in Timiskaming (regardless of clients addresses), including in primary care, pharmacies, and THU vaccination clinics.
(Updated on September 1, 2023)
The percent coverage presented on this table includes Timiskaming residents who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of the location of vaccine administration.
a Refers to individuals that have completed their primary series and have received any number of booster doses (e.g. first booster, second booster) of COVID-19 vaccine within the previous 6 months (168 days). As these individuals have received a recent booster dose, they are considered up-to date according to provincial recommendations. Important to note that residents who have had a recent COVID-19 infection are recommended to wait 3-6 months after a COVID-19 infection before getting a booster dose.
The Timiskaming Health Unit previously used the 2020 population estimates from the 2016 Census data as the denominator to report vaccine rates, similar to the Ministry of Health. Beginning Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Timiskaming Health Unit will be switching from using the 2020 Statistics Canada population estimates to the newly released, 2021 Statistics Canada population estimates. As a result, some vaccination rates may be different from previous weeks.
* The total number of doses includes all doses given in Timiskaming (regardless of clients addresses), including in primary care, pharmacies, THU vaccination clinics.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccination data in Ontario, click here.
Fertility, Pregnancy, and COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or planning to conceive
You can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine before becoming pregnant or in any trimester of pregnancy. It is also recommended that you stay up-to-date with booster doses. Please consult with your health care provider if you have questions about vaccination and pregnancy.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive is safe and highly recommended by:
Several studies have demonstrated that vaccination in pregnancy has no impact on:
- pregnancy outcomes (including miscarriage, premature birth, fetal growth restriction, and high blood pressure during pregnancy)
- medical complications of pregnancy
- maternal death
The benefits of getting vaccinated to prevent potential complications in pregnancy far outweigh the risks. The vaccine will protect you from COVID-19, and it will also reduce the risk of severe illness and complications related to COVID-19 in pregnancy. Studies suggest that after vaccination you will pass antibodies to your baby, which may keep them safe after birth.
COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service: SickKids and the VaxFacts Clinic at Scarborough Health Network (SHN) are available to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant and breastfeeding people. Speak privately with a SickKids registered nurse for vaccine safety information. Follow-up is also offered with SHN for individual medical guidance. The service is available in multiple languages.
Visit www.sickkids.ca/vaccineconsult to book a confidential phone appointment.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy, click here.
Proof of vaccination
The Government of Ontario no longer requires proof of vaccination at businesses in certain settings. However, businesses can still have their own policies requiring proof of vaccination. THU asks that customers be kind to staff at businesses that continue to require proof of vaccination.
Click here to download or print your proof of vaccination. If you need assistance:
- Please call THU at 866-747-4305 or email email@example.com.
- Public libraries including Teck Centennial, Temiskaming Shores, Temagami, Englehart, and Larder Lake offer free assistance and printing to people who need proof of vaccination. You must have an Ontario health card to print your proof of vaccination at the library.
I have heard that the COVID-19 vaccine was approved quickly. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for use in approved populations. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Health Canada conducted an expediated, or rolling, approval process. This means that the vaccine was evaluated for safety and efficacy while it was being developed, and again when it was finalized. Though faster, all of the components of a routine approvals process were addressed. For more information, please watch the video linked below:
Did the clinical trials include people of different races and ethnicities?
Yes. Of the clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of participants from the United States of America have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Pfizer-BioNTech has created an infographic that highlights the breakdown of participants by background and age.
Why should I get vaccinated if COVID-19 has a high survival rate?
COVID-19 can be a serious illness for many people, including those who are young and were previously healthy. Symptoms can persist for months, and the virus can damage the heart, brain and lungs. Getting COVID-19 can also increase the risk of long-term health problems.
The potential short-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are worth the protection it will provide you and may also help stop the spread to others.