To debunk misinformation about the numbers of vaccinated vs unvaccinated COVID 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 vs. non-fully vaccinated people in hospitals and ICUs. https://youtu.be/wa4NAW9ZLE8
Dr. Glenn Corneil answers three of the most frequently asked questions
- 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: https://www.timiskaminghu.com/90555/Full-text-of-this-video-script
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 the health unit 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 five years or older at the time of their appointment is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
- All eligible residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and to receive their second dose as soon as they are eligible to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.
Who can get vaccinated: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/getting-covid-19-vaccine#who-can-get-vaccinated
Who can receive their second dose?
It is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) 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 intervals between doses results in a stronger immune response and higher vaccine effectiveness that is expected to last longer. This interval may be associated with a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.
Third (booster) dose eligibility
- Third doses (booster doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for all individuals aged 12 and over if at least 84 days (approximately three months) have passed since their 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 their booster dose as soon as eligible.
- The current surge driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, is increasing the likelihood most people will come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and may become ill with the virus. Right now, vaccination and maintaining public health measures, like masking, avoiding gatherings, and staying home when sick, remain our strongest defense.
Learn more about who is currently eligible for a booster dose:
Fourth dose eligibility
Individuals aged 60 and over as well as First Nation, Inuit & Métis individuals & their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over are now eligible for a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The recommended interval between your third and fourth dose is 5 months.
Learn more about who is currently eligible for a booster dose: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/vaccine/COVID-19_vaccine_third_dose_recommendations.pdf
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 third 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 individuals 18 years of age and older (for 12 to 17 year olds, an interval of 6 months is suggested after second dose).
Learn more: COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Guidance
Who is medically exempt from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination?
The only indications for a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption are:
- True allergies to vaccines, either to a component of the vaccine, or to your first dose. These allergies would need to be confirmed by a specialist (allergist) who your healthcare professional can refer you to.
- A serious adverse event related to your first vaccination. If this occurred, the Health Unit would have notified you and you would have been advised to have a consultation with a specialist prior to being offered a second dose.
- Pericarditis or myocarditis after your first dose, which would have been confirmed by the Health Unit.
For more information or questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, please call the health unit at 866 747-4305, Ext. 7 or your health care provider.
Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those 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.
They will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families, and workers to safely resume normal life. The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you.
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
COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/vaccine/COVID-19_vaccine_info_sheet.pdf
How Vaccines Are Developed: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-how-vaccines-developed.html?utm_source=pdf-stakeholders&utm_medium=email-pdf&utm_content=hc-dec-vaccines-video-en&utm_campaign=hc-sc-vaccine-20-21
Vaccines available to children (ages 5 to 11)
- Paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
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 12 to 29
- Moderna, recommended for ages 29 and over
- Novavax, for those who do not wish to, or are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine due to medical reasons. If you are interested in receiving this vaccine, please call 866-747-4305, Ext. 6 or email COVIDvaccine@timiskaminghu.com
- The Novavax is a recombinant protein subunit vaccine and is authorized for use in people who are 18 years or older. It is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. The vaccine may be offered to people who are not able or willing to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) continues to be preferentially recommended. For additional information, refer to Health Canada
If you have cannot get Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax for medical reasons, you can get:
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen); you must have informed consent and request this vaccine through the Timiskaming Health Unit (only one dose needed, with a booster shot recommended after three months or 84 days)
For more information, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines.html
What is an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) and how are they reported?
An adverse event following immunization (AEFI) is an unwanted or unexpected health effect that happens after someone receives a vaccine, which may or may not be caused by the vaccine. Monitoring AEFIs is an important part of all vaccine programs and contributes to the success of any immunization program. All clients receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are advised to contact their primary care provider or call the health unit if they are experiencing an AEFI. When a medical 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 of these events were local reactions and were fully self-resolving. Learn more about AEFIs related to Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine program here: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/about/blog/2021/covid-19-vaccine-safety-surveillance.
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, THU vaccination clinics.
(Updated on May 25, 2022)
The Timiskaming Health Unit previously used the 2020 population projections from the 2016 Census data as the denominator to report vaccine rates, similar to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry has now switched to using the 2020 population estimates and to keep in line with the rest of Ontario, we will now also be using 2020 population estimates. As a results, some vaccination rates may be different from previous weeks.
Ontario COVID-19 vaccinations data: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data
After Your COVID-19 Vaccine
Proof of vaccination
While the Government of Ontario no longer requires proof of vaccination at businesses in certain settings, 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 the health unit at 866-747-4305, ext. 6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Public libraries including Teck Centennial, Temiskaming Shores, Temagami, Englehart and Larder Lake will assist those needing a printout of their proof of vaccination at no cost.
Why children and youth should get vaccinated
Vaccines are safe
The vaccine is safe and it works. Vaccines are the most effective tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. Vaccines protect us by helping our body build immunity and decreasing our chance of spreading it to others in our community. The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps build up your child’s immunity to help reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus and can make symptoms milder.
Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals aged 12 and older and determined these vaccines:
- are safe, effective, and manufactured to the highest quality
- show a strong immune response and prepare the immune system to fight against COVID-19
- significantly decrease the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection
- significantly decrease the risk of longer-term illness from multiple inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare but serious condition that can occur in the weeks following COVID-19 infection
Learn more about Health Canada’s vaccine approval process and the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 for youth.
Vaccines will help keep them from getting sick again if they already had COVID-19
- If your child had COVID-19, they should still get the vaccine. It will help protect them from getting sick again and from variants.
- Ontario, in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), has recommended that if your child has tested positive on a PCR or rapid antigen test, or was symptomatic and a household contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, they should wait eight weeks after symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic) before receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- Children with moderate to severe immunocompromised conditions should wait four to eight weeks after symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic).
- Children with a previous history of MIS-C should receive the vaccine dose when they have recovered or more than 90 days since the onset of MIS-C, whichever is longer.
- With informed consent, your child may receive their COVID-19 vaccine once they are asymptomatic and have completed their isolation.
When to get first and second dose
To provide the strongest possible protection, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends waiting eight weeks between the first and second dose. This is based on evidence in adults that suggest longer intervals between doses results in a stronger immune response and higher vaccine effectiveness that is expected to last longer. This interval may be associated with a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.
When to get booster dose
A booster dose is recommended at an interval of six months (168 days) after a second dose. You must be at least 12 years old at the time of your appointment.
Three-dose primary series for children and youth who are immunocompromised
- Some children and youth who are immunocompromised can get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks (56 days) after their second dose as part of an extended primary series.
- In addition, youth aged 12-17 years old can get a fourth dose (booster) six months (168 days) after completion of the three-dose primary series.
- Eligible children and youth will need to provide their prescription, prescription vial or a referral from a health care professional at the time of their appointment. Speak to your child’s health care provider for more information.
Possible side effects
Like any medication, vaccines can cause mild side effects and reactions that can last a few hours or a couple of days after vaccination.
Common side effects may include:
- colour changes (for example, red or purple), soreness or swelling on the arm where you got the needle
- muscle and joint pain
- mild fever
Serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are very rare and can be treated. To be safe, everyone who gets vaccinated is monitored for at least 15 minutes in case an allergic reaction occurs.
It’s okay to still have questions about the vaccine. If you do, you can:
- speak with your healthcare provider, pharmacist or call us at 866-747-4305, Ext. 7.
- contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to speak to an experienced agent or health specialist at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007), available in more than 300 languages, seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- book a confidential appointment with a registered nurse through the SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service at www.sickkids.ca/vaccineconsult or 1-888-304-6558. Appointments are available in multiple languages.
- learn more from SickKids about COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth
- download fact sheet COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Youth
For more information visit:
Fertility, Pregnancy and COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines are safe if you are, or plan to become, pregnant
You can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine before becoming pregnant or in any trimester of pregnancy. It is also recommended that you get a booster dose three months after your second dose.
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. Not only will the vaccine protect you from COVID 19 infection, it will reduce the risk of severe illness and complications related to COVID 19 infections in pregnancy. And, studies suggest the antibodies your body develops following vaccination will pass to your baby, which may keep them safe after birth.
If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please speak with your health care provider.
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 a SHN for individual medical guidance. Service is available in many languages.
Visit: www.sickkids.ca/vaccineconsult to book a confidential phone appointment.
For more information please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-vaccines-pregnancy