COVID-19 Vaccine Information: After Care

After your COVID-19 vaccination

What should I expect in the next few days after my vaccination? 
  • Examples of common side effects include: pain at injection site, redness, swelling, tiredness, headache, enlarged lymph nodes, muscle or joint pain, chills, fever, upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Serious side effects are rare. However, should you develop any signs or symptoms (such as hives, swelling of the face or mouth, difficulty breathing, very pale colour and serious drowsiness, high fever (over 40°C), convulsions or seizures, other serious symptoms (e.g. prolonged “pins and needles” or numbness) that could be an allergic reaction, seek medical attention right away or call 911.
  • If you are concerned about any reactions you experience after receiving the vaccine, contact your healthcare provider. 
Things to remember after you receive your vaccine 
  • Do not receive any other vaccines:
    • within 28 days after your first dose (except for your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine if eligible)
    • within 14 days before your 2nd dose
    • within 28 days after your 2nd dose
  • If you are planning to become pregnant, consult your primary care provider.
  • Report to your healthcare provider that you have received your COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you provided an email address, you should receive an email receipt. You can also access proof of your vaccination (vaccination receipts) using the provincial portal
  • Although COVID-19 vaccines are very effective, you must continue to follow appropriate public health measures to prevent disease transmission. Wash hands frequently, stay 6 feet/2 metres apart from those outside your household, wear a mask, etc.
Second doses 

For information on second dose appointments, when you can get your second dose, and who qualifies for a shorter second dose interval, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Information: Second Dose page. 

Proof of vaccination

After each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that you get, you will be able to log into the provincial portal to download and or print an electronic COVID-19 vaccine receipt. The vaccine receipt will be a PDF document.

You will need the following to log into the provincial portal:

  • A green photo health (OHIP) card (you will need the numbers from the front and back of the card, expired cards will be accepted)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your postal code that is associated with your health card

Access the portal to download your vaccination receipts at: COVID-19 vaccination

Public health measures after vaccination

At the current time, everyone who has received a first dose or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine must continue to follow all public health measures. This includes public health measures included in legislation, such as wearing a face covering in an indoor business or organization, and isolating when told to by public health.

What if I experience COVID-19 symptoms right after my vaccination? 

Common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • pain, redness, swelling at the site where the needle was given
  • tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and low fever

If you have any of the following symptoms, regardless of whether you have been immunized within the past 48 hours, you should self-isolate and seek further medical attention. This includes reporting ‘yes’ to any of the following symptoms, even if you think your symptoms are side effects from the vaccine:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough or barking cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decrease or loss of smell or taste
  • Pink eye
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose
  • Digestive issues like nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Falling down often

Within the 48 hours from the time you received your immunization: if you have any of the following symptoms (and not any other symptoms), and the symptoms are mild (e.g., you feel well enough to work) and the symptom(s) only began after immunization, you can go to work/continue with permitted activities.

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle ache/joint pain

Note: If you have been told to isolate for other reasons, you must continue to isolate. 

Why do I need to continue to follow public health measures even though I’m vaccinated? 

The vaccine protects you, but maybe not others:

  • Studies of COVID-19 vaccines show that they are very effective at preventing people from becoming sick with COVID-19. Although all authorized vaccines have been shown to offer protection against symptomatic confirmed COVID-19, experts are gathering and analyzing evidence to see if the vaccines prevent people from showing no symptoms and spreading COVID-19.
  • This means the vaccines will protect those who receive it from getting very sick with COVID-19, but it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated could still pass the virus on to others.
  • Regardless of your vaccination status, it’s important to continue following public health measures to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 at this time.
  • Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change the recommendations everyone should take to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.
  • You may have seen that some regions, especially in countries who have been able to vaccinate more of their population, have started to change their recommendations. Canada is not there yet and the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) in Canada recommends that all individuals continue to practice recommended public health measures, whether they are vaccinated or not.
  • Also, even after completing a full series, no vaccine works perfectly – that means that a small proportion of people will not develop an immune response. As long as COVID is still circulating at high levels in Ontario, it is important to continue public health measures, even if you are vaccinated.

Rules are still in place

  • Current public health recommendations haven’t changed. Provincial legislation, local Class orders and instructions regarding wearing a face covering, physical distancing and/or isolating when told to by public health still stand.
  • Vaccination status does not qualify as an exemption to wearing a face covering in the provincial regulations.
  • Huron Perth Public Health has a Section 22 Class Order in place to ensure Huron-Perth residents who have been told to self-isolate by public health or a health care provider are doing so. Vaccination status does not exempt someone from this order.
  • Basically, at this time, those who have been partially or fully vaccinated should continue to follow public health measures: staying home when ill, screening for symptoms, wearing a face covering, maintaining 6 feet/2 metres distance from those not in their household, and washing hands frequently.

Vaccinations mean the beginning of the end of the pandemic, but we are not at the very end just yet.

Do I still need to stay home if I'm ill, even after I’ve received my vaccination? 
  • While protection does start with a first dose, vaccines that require two doses, require both doses to reach maximum effectiveness. It is still possible to come in contact with the COVID-19 virus and develop symptoms if you have received your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It is also possible you were exposed to the virus before your body developed some immunity from receiving the vaccine. Also, even after completing a full series, no vaccine works perfectly – that means that a small proportion of people will not develop an immune response. As long as COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels in Ontario, it is important to continue public health measures, even if you are vaccinated.
  • Additionally, although all authorized vaccines have been shown to offer protection against symptomatic confirmed COVID-19, experts are gathering and analyzing evidence to see if the vaccines prevent people from spreading COVID-19.
  • This means that someone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine could potentially still spread the virus to others. Regardless of your vaccination status, during this time it’s important to continue following public health measures to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of whether you have received the vaccine or not, you must continue to follow public health measures and regulations. This includes staying home if you are feeling ill, and following the recommendations on the provincial COVID-19 screening tool.
Do I still need to complete screening before work, school, etc., after I’ve received my vaccination? 
  • Yes. You need to complete COVID-19 screening before work, school etc. regardless of whether you have received a first dose of your vaccine.
  • Vaccines that require two doses, require both doses to reach maximum effectiveness. It is still possible to come in contact with the COVID-19 virus and develop symptoms if you have received your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It is also possible you were exposed to the virus before your body developed some immunity from receiving the vaccine.
  • Although all authorized vaccines have been shown to offer protection against symptomatic confirmed COVID-19, experts are gathering and analyzing evidence to see if the vaccines prevent people from showing no symptoms and spreading COVID-19.
  • This means that someone who has received an authorized COVID-19 vaccine could potentially still spread the virus to others.
  • Also, even after completing a full series, no vaccine works perfectly – that means that a small proportion of people will not develop an immune response. As long as COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels in Ontario, it is important to continue public health measures, even if you are vaccinated. 
Do I still need to wear a face covering after I’ve received my vaccination? 
  • Yes. Everyone must to continue following all public health measures, including wearing a face covering after you have received your vaccine. This includes all healthcare workers.
  • Studies of COVID-19 vaccines have shown that they are very effective at preventing people from becoming sick with COVID-19. However, right now we do not have enough information to know how likely it is that someone who has been given a COVID-19 vaccine could develop an asymptomatic (no symptoms) COVID-19 infection and pass it to others.  
  • This means the vaccines will protect those who receive it from getting sick, but it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated could still carry the virus pass the virus on to others. Regardless of your vaccination status, at this time it’s important to continue following public health measures to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 for the time-being.
  • Also, even after completing a full series, no vaccine works perfectly – that means that a small proportion of people will not develop an immune response. As long as COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels in Ontario, it is important to continue public health measures, even if you are vaccinated.
  • Please note: the requirement for face coverings in indoor public spaces is in provincial regulations, and vaccination status is not listed as an exemption from wearing a face covering.
Do I still need to maintain 6 feet/2 metres distance from those outside my household after my vaccination? 
  • Yes. Everyone needs to continue following all public health measures, including maintaining a 6 feet distance from anyone who does not live in your household, after you have received your vaccine.
  • Although all authorized vaccines have been shown to offer protection against symptomatic confirmed COVID-19, experts are gathering and analyzing evidence to see if the vaccines prevent people from spreading COVID-19.
  • This means that someone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine could potentially still spread the virus to others. Regardless of your vaccination status, during this time it’s important to continue following public health measures to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Also, even after completing a full series, no vaccine works perfectly – that means that a small proportion of people will not develop an immune response. As long as COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels in Ontario, it is important to continue public health measures, even if you are vaccinated.
I’ve received my vaccination. Do I still need to isolate if I’m identified as a high-risk contact OR if someone in my household is identified as a high-risk contact? 
  • Yes. You still need to isolate if you have been identified as a high-risk contact, or if someone in your household has been identified as a high-risk contact.
  • Studies of COVID-19 vaccines have shown that they are very effective at preventing people from becoming sick with COVID-19. However, experts are gathering and analyzing evidence to see if the vaccines prevent people from spreading COVID-19.
  • This means that someone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine could potentially still spread the virus to others. Until we know more about this, it’s important to continue to self-isolate if you are a high-risk contact to protect others and prevent spread in the community.
  • Also, even after completing a full series, no vaccine works perfectly – that means that a small proportion of people will not develop an immune response. As long as COVID is still circulating at high levels in Ontario, it is important to continue public health measures, even if you are vaccinated.
  • Note: there is a Section 22 Order issued by the Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health to ensure that Huron Perth residents who have been told to self-isolate by public health or a health care provider are doing so. Vaccination status does not exempt someone from this order. 
Why are some areas in the United States changing their public health measures? 
  • Regional regulations depend on many factors, including how the virus is spreading in communities, number of people vaccinated (with first dose or fully vaccinated), and what we currently know about effectiveness of vaccine from preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • At this time, the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) in Canada, recommends that all individuals, whether vaccinated or not, continue to practice recommended public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Public health measures will continue to be in place until we know more about how long the protection given by COVID-19 vaccinations lasts, and how well COVID-19 vaccines help to prevent asymptomatic infection and reduce transmission of COVID-19. 

Remember! At this time, those who have been partially or fully vaccinated should continue to follow public health measures: staying home when ill, screening for symptoms, wearing a face covering, maintaining 6 feet/2 metres distance from those not in their household, and washing hands frequently. Vaccinations mean the beginning of the end of the pandemic, but we are not at the end just yet!

COVID-19 Vaccine After Care Sheets