What vaccines are available in Canada?
Type: mRNA vaccine
Administration: Two intramuscular injections given 28 days apart
Storage: -25oC to -15oC
Efficacy: 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 in previously uninfected individuals based on clinical trials
Type: mRNA vaccine
Administration: Two intramuscular injections given 21 days apart
Storage: – 80oC to – 60oC
Efficacy: 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in previously uninfected individuals based on clinical trials
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Both COVID-19 vaccines are safe. With over 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Canada, the rate of serious adverse reaction (including anaphylaxis) is 0.009% (Health Canada, February 2021)
The common side effects include:
– pain at the injection site
- – muscle pain
- – fever
- – headache
- – fatigue
Studies show that these normally resolve within 1 week of vaccination.
Who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Moderna vaccine can be given to those 18 years of age or older
The Pfizer-Biotech vaccine can be given to those 16 years of age or older
Pregnant and breastfeeding patients were excluded from the initial clinical trials; however recently Pfizer-NBiotech and Moderna have started clinical trials for pregnant patients.
It is suggested that pregnant and breastfeeding patients have a discussion with their healthcare provider about the risks/benefits of the vaccine and the consequences of COVID-19 infection.
A consensus statement by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada:
“Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be offered vaccination at anytime if
they are eligible and no contraindications exist.”
Currently the COVID-19 vaccines are indicated for those 16 yrs of age or older. There are clinical trials currently being conducted by Pfizer and Moderna and hope is that a paediatric vaccine will be available by the end of 2021.
When will I get the vaccine?
Ontario’s goal is to vaccinate eligible person by the end of 2021. In general, older adults and others at high risk of getting sick or getting sick will be vaccinated before others. It will take some time to vaccinate enough of our community members and achieve shared protection through herd immunity. We do not know yet if or when HS Medical will have vaccines for our patients, but we will keep you updated with as more information becomes available.
As of February 20, 2021, in Phase I, the current priority for COVID vaccines are
- adults 80 years of age and older
- staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors (for example, assisted living)
- health care workers identified as the high priority level in the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization (PDF)
- all Indigenous adults
- adult recipients of chronic home care