COVID-19 Vaccine

Algoma Public Health

COVID-19 Vaccine

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COVID-19 vaccination information is changing rapidly in Canada and locally.

This page is regularly monitored and updated to keep up with this information.

 On This Page:


Are you a healthcare professional? Access vaccine information and planning resources 

If you have questions specifically related to the vaccine itself you can call Ontario’s Vaccine Information phone line1-888-999-6488

About Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

Health Canada approved the following COVID-19 vaccines for use in prevention of COVID-19 virus:

  • December 9, 2020 – the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
  • December 23, 2020 – the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
  • February 26, 2021 - the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
  • March 5, 2021 - the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

For more information:

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Who can get vaccinated?


The vaccines are free for everyone. For people without a health card, government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, Status Card, etc., can be used.


The Pfizer vaccine is licensed for use in people 12 years of age and older, including seniors. The Moderna vaccine is licensed for use in people 18 years of age and older. The AstraZeneca vaccine is approved for people who are 18 years of age and older. 


Consult with your health care provider, if you:

  • are pregnant, want to become pregnant soon after vaccination, or breastfeeding;
  • have a autoimmune disorder or weakened immune system due to illness or treatment; or
  • have a bleeding problem, bruise easily. 

Your health care provider will review the benefits and risks for your unique situation.


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How the Vaccines Work


COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system to make antibodies that protect us from the COVID-19 virus. These antibodies will provide protection from getting, spreading, and becoming severely sick with COVID-19. None of the vaccines contain COVID-19 and cannot give us the virus.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are called ‘messenger RNA’ or ‘mRNA’ vaccines. They use mRNA to give our cells instructions to make antibodies. The mRNA does not change our DNA. Watch a video from the Government of Canada for more information on how mRNA vaccines work.

The AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are called ‘viral vector’ vaccines. They use a modified cold virus to give our cells instructions to make antibodies. The cold virus in the vaccine is inactive and will not make us sick.

mRNA and viral vector vaccines use technology that has been around for over 10 years. The mRNA provides instructions to our immune system to make antibodies.


The vaccine doses are given using a needle in your upper arm. It takes at least two weeks after getting a vaccine dose to be protected. To be considered fully vaccinated, The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines require two doses, and one dose for the Janssen vaccine.


Studies on how long protection lasts in the general population are ongoing and booster doses may be recommended in the future.


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How are Vaccines Developed?


(Source: Health Canada) This video explains the vaccine development process and how it is possible to achieve a COVID-19 vaccine, with significant domestic and international collaboration, in a much shorter period of time.

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After Vaccinations

After getting your vaccine please:

  • Keep the paper or electronic vaccination record you get from the clinic. Tell your health care provider that you got vaccinated
    • If you were vaccinated at a pop-up clinic and did not receive your vaccination record, please visit or vaccination receipt page
    • If you were vaccinated at a pharmacy and did not receive your vaccination record, please call the pharmacy directly
  • Speak to your health care provider if you have any serious reactions, especially if they lasts longer than 3 days

Continue with public health measures

Until most people are vaccinated, you still need to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Keep your distance from others you do not live with
  • Wash your hands often
  • Stay home when you are sick

Health care workers and staff must still wear personal protective equipment (PPE), even after they get their vaccine.


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Vaccine Safety

All available COVID-19 vaccines are approved by Health Canada and are safe and effective. 


The safety of vaccines is carefully monitored, starting early in the 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.  For more information see Health Canada Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.


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 about vaccine safety and reporting in Ontario visit Public Health Ontario: Vaccine Safety.

Downloadable Resource:



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Vaccinations While Pregnant


Pregnant individuals are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at any point in their pregnancy. Many people who are pregnant have gotten very sick from COVID-19 requiring hospitalization and critical care. Getting vaccinated is safe and an important way to be protected in pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have questions about getting vaccinated and to understand benefits of getting the vaccine compared to the risks of getting the COVID-19 infection. For many people, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the safest choice.

The Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada also recommends pregnant people get vaccinated in pregnancy. Many pregnant people who get COVID-19 can have mild symptoms. However, especially with the new variants spreading in Ontario, some can get very sick and develop respiratory complications that need care in the hospital. Giving birth too early in pregnancy (preterm birth) may be more common.

Vaccines can protect against these variants and lower the risk of severe illness while pregnant. All COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy and are being used around the world.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, it is recommended to get both doses of the vaccine ahead of pregnancy (where possible) when it’s available to you. There is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine.

If you are pregnant or become pregnant soon after getting the first dose of the vaccine you will have to decide if you should get the second dose. The decision should be made by looking at the risks of not being completely vaccinated during pregnancy.

While COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials did not include people who were pregnant or breastfeeding, many people who are pregnant and have been vaccinated are being followed to ensure the vaccine continues to be safe.

How to book your non-appointment necessary COVID-19 vaccination:

Find a clinic near you or your nearest pharmacy

Before going for your clinic appointment, talk to your health care provider about:

  • the risks and benefits of the vaccine
  • the risks of getting a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy
  • the risks of a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy
  • how clinical trials and real world data can provide evidence on the safety of the vaccines in pregnancy.

Please note:

  • A letter from a health care provider is not required for vaccination.
  • You are encouraged to receive your second dose as soon as you are eligible to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.

For more information:


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Vaccinations While Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding has many benefits for you and your baby including protecting your baby against many illnesses. The Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada recommends vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding people who do not have any medical conditions that prevent them from getting the vaccine.


There is no need to avoid starting breastfeeding or to stop breastfeeding to receive the vaccine. Getting the vaccine can help protect you from becoming sick with COVID-19 and passing it to your baby.


Some studies have shown that antibodies were found in the breastmilk of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine which may protect their infant. More studies are needed to determine how much protection this offers. While people who are breastfeeding were not included in most of the vaccine clinical trials, the vaccines are considered safe for people who are breastfeeding because of the way the vaccines work in the body.


Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about getting vaccinated and to understand the benefits of getting the vaccine compared to the risks of getting the COVID-19 infection. For most people, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the safest choice.

For more information:


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Local COVID-19 Vaccine Status

We are doing well in Algoma. According to provincial reporting, Algoma has vaccinated a relatively comparable percentage of residents when compared to the Ontario average. 


Visit our Algoma COVID-19 Immunization Tracker page for the latest COVID-19 vaccination numbers. Find out how many doses have been administered so far, along with the numbers on who has received first, second, and third doses. 


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Frequently Asked Questions

For questions specifically related to the vaccine itself you can also call Ontario’s Vaccine Information phone line: 1-888-999-6488



About COVID-19 Vaccines




COVID-19 Vaccine Safety




Should I get a COVID-19 Vaccine? 



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Working with Algoma

Community Partners


Throughout the planning process Algoma Public Health has been working closely with its community partners across multiple sectors to ensure a safe and coordinated rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to Algoma-area residents. We have been working with representatives from: Ontario Health North, Algoma Ontario Health Team, Algoma’s Family Health Teams and nurse practitioner-led clinics, each of Algoma’s four hospitals,  Algoma’s 21 municipalities, health partners from Indigenous communities and health organizations, each of Algoma’s Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes and UIIP participating pharmacies.


A complete list based on sub-region can be found below:



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