Algoma Public Health
- Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccines
- Eligibility for Vaccination after having COVID-19
- Children Aged 6 Months and Older
- Where can I get my COVID Vaccine?
- Staying Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccinations
- Population Specific Considerations
- What are COVID-19 Vaccines?
- COVID-19 Vaccine vs. Flu Vaccine: What's the difference?
- Vaccine Safety
- Side Effects and COVID-19 Vaccines
- Long-Term Side Effects
- Ongoing monitoring of side effects and reactions
- Allergic Reactions
- More Support and Credible Resources
Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines remains an important strategy in our fight against COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines are currently free and available to all individuals 6 months and older.
For those without a health card, government-issued photo ID (e.g. a driver’s license, passport, Status Card, etc.) can be used to get your COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario.
Use the table below to see which dose(s) you are eligible to receive based on your age.
6 months to 5 years (Moderna)
Booster Doses - Not eligible
5 to 11 years
(or 6-11 years, Moderna)
Booster Doses - Not eligible
|12 to 17 years||
|Moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals 6 months of age or older||
For more details on Booster Doses, intervals and eligibility see the following guidance documents:
It is important to receive your next dose of COVID-19 vaccine even if you had a recent COVID-19 infection.
You can get COVID-19 more than once for a variety of reasons (e.g. different variant of concern circulating). While a previous COVID-19 infection may provide some degree of short-term immunity, immunity does decrease over time and a person’s risk of severe illness may increase with each re-infection (Public Health Ontario).
If you are infected with COVID-19, you are able to receive your next dose of COVID-19 vaccine once your isolation period has ended. However, it is strongly recommended to wait the suggested interval below to boost your immune response and protection against COVID-19.
|Infection timing relative to COVID-19 vaccination||Population||Suggested interval between infection and vaccination|
|Infection prior to completion or initiation of primary vaccination series||Individuals 6 months of age and older who are not considered moderately to severely immunocompromised and with no previous history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)||Receive your next dose of COVID-19 vaccine 8 weeks after symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic).|
|Individuals 6 months of age and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and with no previous history of MIS-C||Receive the vaccine dose 4 to 8 weeks after symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic)|
|Individuals 6 months of age and older with a previous history of MIS-C (regardless of immunocompromised status)||Receive the vaccine dose when clinical recovery has been achieved or ≥90 days since the onset of MIS-C, whichever is longer|
|Infection after primary series but before first booster dose and/or second booster dose||
Individuals 6 months of age and older with a previous history of MIS-C (regardless of immunocompromised status)
Receive the vaccine dose when clinical recovery has been achieved or ≥90 days since the onset of MIS-C, whichever is longer
If you are 12 to 17 years old, as per the recommended interval for the booster doses, at least 6 months (168 days) should have passed after completing the primary series before receiving their booster doses.
Children aged 6 months and older are eligible to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. To provide the best protection possible against COVID-19, children aged 6 months and older are strongly recommended to get their second dose COVID-19 vaccine at least 8 weeks after their first dose.
Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect your child and family from COVID-19.
Currently, the Moderna (25 mcg) COVID-19 vaccine is the only authorized vaccine for children 6 months to under 5 years of age.
The Ministry of Health has made a preferential recommendation for the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 5-29 years of age.
We encourage you to make an informed choice about the COVID-19 vaccine, in the same way that you do when considering other vaccinations for your child.
To share your intent for vaccinating your child/children aged 4 and under, preferences for the location and time of clinics, and any questions with public health, please fill out the COVID-19 Vaccination Survey for Children 4 and Under.
Talk to Your Primary Care Provider and Get Your Questions Answered
Your decision to vaccinate your child with the COVID-19 vaccine should consider the risks of the disease and the benefits of the vaccine. If you have questions or concerns, get information from credible, evidence-based sources.
Talk to Your Children
Be honest and share information in an age-appropriate way. Listen and answer their questions or work with them to find the answers from credible, evidence-based sources.
Resources for talking to kids about COVID-19
- (ENG) How to Talk to Kids about Getting Vaccinated
- (FR) How to Talk to Kids about Getting Vaccinated
More information for Kids
- For more information for children, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: For Children (age 5-11)
- Health Canada – Vaccines for children: COVID-19
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
COVID-19 vaccine clinics are being offered across the Algoma district by public health and community partners for those eligible aged 6 months and older.
Appointments for COVID-19 immunizations can be booked online and by phone.
To book an appointment for an upcoming clinic online, select the clinic you are interested in visiting on our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Calendar and click “Book Now”. Follow instructions on the booking page.
Phone lines are open Monday to Friday for appointment booking. To book an appointment for an upcoming clinic by phone:
- If you live in Sault Ste. Marie and Area, Central and East Algoma, or Wawa call 705-541-7370 or 1-888-440-3730.
- If you live in Elliot Lake and Area call the Elliot Lake Family Health Team at 705-461-8882 ext. 611
- If you live in White River and Area call the Northern Neighbours Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic at 807-822-2320.
- If you live in Dubreuilville and Area call the Dubreuilville Medical Centre at 705-884-2884.
COVID-19 vaccines are also available at select pharmacies across the Algoma district. Pharmacies can administered COVID-19 vaccines to anyone 2 years of age and older.
Vaccine product (i.e. brand), availability, and appointment booking vary by location.
Visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations to find pharmacy near you offering COVID-19 vaccines and details on how to make an appointment or walk-in.
Please contact your community health centre or primary care provider for details on upcoming clinics.
Reminders after Getting Vaccinated
It is still important to continue wearing a mask when appropriate, physical distancing, washing hands often, and staying home when sick to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 no matter how many doses of COVID-19 vaccine you have received. This protects you and others!
What does 'Up to Date' mean?
Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines means that you have received all recommended COVID-19 immunizations and booster doses based on your current eligibility.
Why Stay Up to Date?
Protection after your primary COVID-19 vaccine series (2 doses) decreases over time. COVID-19 vaccine booster doses increase protection from infection and reduced infection severity at the individual level, and reduce transmission at the population level.
What is considered up to date for COVID-19 vaccines may be modified over time based on availability of new vaccines, potential changes in the virus, and new evidence.
To determine your eligibility and when you can get your next dose see information on eligibility.
For more details on Staying Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccinations, see:
History of fainting, dizziness, or fear of needles
Individuals with a fear of injections/needles are still encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
See CARD resource for ways to improve the vaccination experience for you and/or your child.
Breastfeeding or Pregnant
Breastfeeding and/or pregnant individuals are eligible and should receive all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccines (including booster doses, as eligible).
Resources for breastfeeding or pregnant individuals:
- Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health’s decision making tool
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada Statement on COVID-19
- Canadian Immunization Guide’s section on Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Autoimmune Conditions or Immunocompromised
It is recommended that all moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals receive a 3-dose primary series of COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals with autoimmune conditions or that are immunocompromised are encouraged to speak with their health care provider regarding the timing of immunizations.
Resources for Individuals with autoimmune conditions or that are immunocompromised:
- COVID-19 Vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide’s section on Immunocompromised persons
- COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Dose Recommendations
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing your risk of serve illness, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19. Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine can also reduce the likelihood of developing post COVID-19 conditions, also known as long COVID.
COVID-19 vaccines are one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against the virus. Currently, Health Canada has approved six COVID-19 vaccines for safe and effective use in Canada.
Health Canada Approved Vaccines
Health Canada has approved the following COVID-19 vaccines for use in Canada:
- Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 Vaccine
- Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 Vaccine
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria COVID-19 Vaccine
- Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
- Novavax Nuvaxvoid COVID-19 Vaccine
- Medicago Covidenz COVID-19 Vaccine
For more details on Health Canada's approved COVID-19 Vaccines see:
How the Vaccines Work and Types of Vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system to make antibodies that protect us from the COVID-19 virus.
These antibodies provide us protection from getting, spreading, and becoming severely sick with COVID-19. The vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 because they do not contain the virus that causes it.
Have questions about your health and COVID-19 Vaccines?
- Scarborough Health Network’s VaxFacts Clinic is providing phone consults. To book a free phone appointment, call 416-438-2911 ext. 5738 or book online.
- The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is hosting free consults for children and families. To book a free phone consult, call 437-881-3505 or 1-888-304-6558, or book online.
If you do not have a health care provider, you can speak with one of our public health nurses at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Algoma, or call our immunization program (705-541-7085).
While COVID-19 and seasonal flu may at times show similar symptoms, they are not caused by the same virus. This means that the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccines are not the same, as they target and protect against different viruses.
Influenza viruses cause the flu, and each year flu vaccines are tailored to provide the best protection against the strain that is projected by evidence to be the most common that year. In contrast, the COVID-19 vaccine is designed specifically to target COVID-19 and not influenza.
Since the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine protect against different viruses, they are both recommended for those who are eligible.
For individuals 5 years of age and older, COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time, or any time before or after, non-COVID-19 vaccines (including live and non-live vaccines). This means you can get your flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.
At this time, the Moderna (25 mcg) COVID-19 vaccine for ages 6 months to 5 years should not be given at the same time as other vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine for this age group should be given 14 days before or after any other routine immunizations. This will help to determine if a potential side effect is due to Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or a different vaccine.
Only vaccines that meet the rigorous safety, effectiveness and quality standards of Health Canada are approved for use in Canada.
The safety of vaccines is carefully monitored, starting early in product development and continuing for as long as the vaccine is being used. Health Canada’s independent drug authorization process is recognized around the world for its high standards and rigorous review. Decisions are based only on scientific and medical evidence showing that vaccines are safe and effective. The benefits must also outweigh any risks.
Health Canada only authorizes vaccines in Canada after a thorough and independent review of the scientific evidence. Once a vaccine is in use, Health Canada continues to monitor and can quickly have it removed if safety concerns are identified.
For more information, see Health Canada's resources on:
- Vaccines and treatment for COVID-19: Information on producing, developing, reviewing and authorizing vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccines
- Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
- Vaccine safety and side effects
- Reported side effects
- Clinical trials
- How vaccines are authorized
- Monitoring after authorization
- COVID-19 vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide
- COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Recommendations
Downloadable Resource: Public Health Ontario: What you need to know about the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine, like medications and other vaccines, may cause side effects. After being immunized, it is common and normal to have temporary side effects. These usually last from a few hours to a few days after vaccination. This is the body's natural response to a vaccine, as it is working hard to build immunity against COVID-19.
People react differently after being immunized. Even if you experience temporary side effects, keeping up to date on the vaccinations recommended for you is important. This will reduce your risk of serious outcomes related to COVID-19.
In clinical trials, most approved vaccines sides effects reported were mild to moderate, and usually resolved within a few days.
Common COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
Some of the most common vaccine side effects include redness, soreness, and swelling at the injection site, and more general symptoms such as chills, fatigue, joint pain, head ache, mild fever, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, and enlarged lymph nodes.
To learn more about COVID-19 side effects, see Health Canada’s:
As with all vaccines, there is a very small, rare chance of a more serious side effect. Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial health authorities, and vaccine manufacturers, as well as local public health, continuously monitor reports of side effects in Canada.
See below for rare reactions that have been reported nationally based on vaccine types.
Viral Vector Vaccines
Ongoing studies on the vaccines indicate no serious long-term side effects to date. People who have received the vaccine in studies continue to be monitored for any longer-term side effects.
There is no evidence that any vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) or menstrual irregularities.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and provincial and territorial health authorities continue to closely monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines, and evaluate any new safety concerns.
We encourage anyone who experiences a possible reaction to a vaccine to report it to a health care provider or Algoma Public Health.
For more information about vaccine side effects see:
- Report an adverse event following immunization
- Reported side effects following COVID-19 vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccines: How the vaccines are studied and tested for children and youth
- COVID-19 Administration guidance
Allergic reactions are rare, but they do happen and are often treatable. If you experience an allergic reaction during or shortly after your COVID-19 immunization, speak with your health care provider or allergist prior to your next dose.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually occur shortly after to up to a few hours after vaccination. Some symptoms of an allergic reaction are:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
- hives (bumps on the skin that are often itchy)
If you develop or witness any serious allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis, after vaccination seek emergency services right away.
If after vaccination you experience any persistent or worsening symptoms, or a concerning side effect, contact 911 if an emergency with difficulty breathing, or contact your health care provider for follow-up.
Learn more about: Vaccine safety and side effects: Allergic reactions
Allergic Reactions and Future Doses
It is possible for most people who experience an allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccines to safely receive a future dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommendations for people who experience a severe allergic reaction after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
See the Canadian Immunization Guide section on Contraindications and precautions for more information.
If you know you are allergic to a component of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, consult with your health care provider or allergist, as it may still be possible for you to receive these vaccines.
Potential Allergens by COVID-19 Product Type
Listed below are COVID-19 vaccine ingredients that have been associated with allergic reactions. Allergic reactions are most often rare and treatable.
If you have an allergy to one of the ingredients below you may still be able to receive the vaccine, though should consult with your health care provider or allergist first. You can also speak with a nurse at one of the COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Algoma.
- Pfizer BioNTech: Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- Peadiatric Pfizer: Polyethylene glycol (PEG), Tromethamine (tromethamol or Tris)
- Moderna: Polyethylene glycol (PEG), Tromethamine (tromethamol or Tris)
- AstraZeneca: Polysorbate 80
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson): Polysorbate 80
- Novavax: Polysorbate 80
- Medicago: Polysorbate 80, May contain trace amount of polyethylene glycol (PEG), kanamycin and, carbenicillin
Want to talk to a health professional?
- Scarborough Health Network’s VaxFacts Clinic connects you with doctors who are ready to listen, talk, and help you get the most accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. To book a free phone appointment, call 416-438-2911 ext. 5738 or book online.
- The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is offering COVID-19 Vaccine Consults with paediatric Registered Nurses to residents of Ontario aged 5 or older and their parents/guardians who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. To book a free phone consult, call 437-881-3505 or 1-888-304-6558, or book online.
See credible resources below:
- Health Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Page
- Health Canada’s Fact’s About COVID-19 Resource
- Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Communication Resources
- The COVID-19 vaccine Chapter within the Canadian Immunization Guide