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.
COVID-19 vacination for children aged 6 months to under 5 years.
Our COVID-19 vaccine clinics for aged 6 months to under 5 years of age will continue to offer the pediatric Moderna Spikevax, 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. Please book on-line at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or call us at 866-747-4305, Ext. 6.
We now have the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech for this age group as well, which is given as 3 doses, 8 weeks apart. If you are interested in the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech instead of the Moderna Spikevax, please call the Timiskaming Health unit for more information or to book an appointment for your children under 5.
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, Ext. 6 or your health care provider to find out more.
Who is currently eligible?
Who can receive their first dose?
Everyone aged six months or over at the time of their appointment is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and is encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
For more information about who can get vaccinated, click here.
Who can receive their second dose?
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that you wait eight weeks after your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before getting your second dose.
This is based on evidence that suggests longer timing between doses results in a stronger immune response and higher, longer-lasting vaccine effectiveness. This longer timing may be associated with a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.
For maximum protection against COVID-19, everyone is encouraged to get their second dose as soon as they are eligible.
Who can receive their booster dose (third or fourth dose)?
A bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is now available in Ontario!
The bivalent vaccine is designed to target the Omicron BA.1 variant, as well as the original COVID-19 strain. It is an adapted version of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. 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 18+.
You may receive the bivalent vaccine if at least 6 months have passed since your last dose and 3 months have passed since a COVID-19 infection. You are currently eligible if you belong to one of these priority groups:
- people aged 70+
- health care providers
- residents of long term care, congregate living settings, and retirement homes
- anyone who is pregnant (18+)
- immunocompromised people aged 12+
- First Nations people and their household members aged 18+
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, Ext. 6. (Health care providers and pregnant people must call to book.) Capacity for walk-ins is limited and walk-in appointments will not be guaranteed.
Eligibility will expand to everyone aged 18+ on September 26. If you are aged 18+, you can now book an appointment for the bivalent vaccine, so long as your appointment date is September 26 or later.
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. Children aged 5+ are not eligible for the bivalent vaccine at this time.
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 8 weeks after your COVID-19 infection.
- If you are immunocompromised and have not received your second or third dose, it is still recommended that you complete your vaccination series, 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 8 weeks after your COVID-19 infection.
- If you have not received your booster (third or fourth dose), 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 12 weeks 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.
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, Ext. 6 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, Ext. 6 or email email@example.com.
- 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 where the vaccine was given.
The total number of doses includes all doses given in Timiskaming, regardless of client address. This total includes doses given in primary care, pharmacies, and THU vaccination clinics.
(Updated on October 4, 2022)
Consistent with the Ministry of Health and other Ontario health units, THU uses 2020 population estimates as the denominator for this data.
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, Ext. 6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.