About the vaccine

Residents who are eligible for their first, second or third dose can book an appointment at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Huron and Perth, at select pharmacies, or from some healthcare providers.

All residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and to receive their second dose/booster dose at the recommended interval, to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone aged 5 and older is eligible to receive a first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario (children must be at least 5 years old at the time of vaccination). Anyone 18 years of age or older whose second dose was at least 84 days (three months) ago is eligible for a booster vaccine. For a complete list of third dose/booster dose eligibility, see our Third Dose webpage. 

  • Children 5 to 11 years of age may only receive the child formulation (pediatric version) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
  • Youth 12 to 17 years of age may only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
  • Individuals 18 and older may receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Approved vaccines

After independent and thorough scientific reviews for safety, efficacy and quality, Health Canada has approved four vaccines for use in Canada:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine* (approved December 9, 2020)
    • Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine* (approved November 19, 2021)
  • Moderna (Spikevax) COVID-19 vaccine* (approved December 23, 2020)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine (approved February 26, 2021)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson | approved March 5, 2021)
    • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available to individuals aged 18 and over who have an allergy or contraindication to mRNA vaccines or at the request of an individual who has not yet been vaccinated by contacting their public health unit. Please note that this is not currently available at HPPH vaccination clinics. Health Units must order the vaccine ahead of time and planning in advance is required. Please speak with your healthcare provider about receiving the Janssen vaccine if you have an allergy or contraindication to an mRNA vaccine, or phone our intake line at 1-888-221-2133 for further direction.

*Only Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are available at HPPH COVID-19 vaccine clinics at this time. 

See the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet for more information about the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

What you need to know before getting vaccinated

If you have a fever or COVID-19 symptoms, have been told to isolate, or are waiting for COVID-19 test results, please do not come to the clinic. Please reschedule your appointment for a later date.

Consult with your healthcare provider before getting vaccinated if you:

  • Are on medications that weaken your immune system or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition
  • Have had an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, any ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines, or any other vaccine

Your healthcare provider will review the benefits and risks of your unique situation.

Timing with other vaccines 

For children ages 5 to 11, the COVID-19 vaccine should not be given within 14 days of other vaccines (e.g. routine childhood immunizations, influenza immunization). See our Children ages 5 to 11 page for more information. 

For individuals 12 years of age and older, COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as, or any time before or after, other vaccines

Preparing for your appointment

For information on HPPH COVID-19 vaccine clinics, how to prepare, and what to expect when you arrive at a clinic, see our Preparing for your appointment page.

After you receive your vaccine

Some common side effects that you may experience after your vaccination include:

  • pain at the 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, if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms seek medical attention right away or call 9-1-1:

  • hives,
  • swelling of the face or mouth,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • very pale colour and serious drowsiness,
  • high fever (over 40°C),
  • convulsions or seizures,
  • or other serious symptoms (e.g., prolonged "pins and needles" or numbness) that could be an allergic reaction.

Seek medical attention if you develop chest pain, shortness of breath and/or palpitations (pounding or racing heart), after receiving the vaccine. If you are concerned about any reactions you experience after receiving the vaccine, contact your healthcare provider.

If you become ill, with any COVID-19 symptoms, even after receiving the vaccine, you must self-isolate and get tested. It is still possible to come in contact with the COVID-19 virus and develop symptoms if you are fully vaccinated.

You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your second dose. Keep following public health measures such as wearing a face covering, physically distancing, washing hands frequently, and staying home when sick, to stop the spread of COVID-19, even after you are fully vaccinated.

Myocarditis/Pericarditis

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the lining around the heart. Symptoms can include:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations (fluttering or pounding of the heart)

Although very rare, there have been reports of myocarditis and/or pericarditis after immunization with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in Canada and internationally for ages 12 and older. For most people, the heart inflammation is mild and goes away within days.

So far, available information indicates that:

  • Cases were more commonly reported after the second dose
  • Symptom onset was typically within several days after vaccination
  • Cases were mainly adolescents and young adults
  • Cases were more often in males than in females
  • Cases experienced mild illness, responded well to conservative treatment and rest, and their symptoms improved quickly

Out of an abundance of caution and following a comprehensive review, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) updated and approved its recommendations on the use of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use among individuals aged 12 years and older in the context of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination. For individuals aged 12 to 29, the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is recommended to start or continue the mRNA primary vaccine series to minimize myocarditis/pericarditis risk. Should individuals aged 18 to 29 wish to receive the Moderna vaccine, they can continue to do so with informed consent.

If you develop any symptoms, chest pain, shortness of breath, or the feeling of a fast-beating, pounding or fluttering heart, get medical attention immediately. Report any adverse events after immunization to your healthcare provider.

It is also important to remember that the COVID-19 virus itself can cause inflammation, which can include myocarditis or pericarditis. The benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential risks.

Video: Dr. Hayward | Myocarditis/Pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccine

More information

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth, visit our Youth 12-17 and Children ages 5-11 webpages, or see: