About the vaccine

Residents who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment or walk-in at an HPPH community clinic, or through select pharmacies in Huron Perth. Vaccinations may also be available through your healthcare provider.

For a list of local vaccination opportunities and upcoming clinic dates/locations, visit our Get a Vaccination page.

All residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and to receive their vaccine at the recommended intervals, 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 COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, see our Get a Vaccination page.

Approved vaccines

Learn about the approved COVID-19 vaccines from Health Canada, including how they work, how they are administered, ingredients, allergies, possible side effects and more:

*Only Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are available at HPPH COVID-19 vaccine clinics at this time. Please call HPPH at 1-888-221-2133 for more information, or visit our Get a Vaccination page. 

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

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 and after you receive your vaccine, see our Preparing for your appointment page.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases, whether it is the seasonal flu (influenza) or childhood infections such as chickenpox (varicella). Safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 are now available to protect us against COVID-19. While many people infected with COVID-19 experience only mild illness, others may get a severe illness or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to:

  • Help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience the illness of COVID-19, reducing your risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Reduce your risk of severe illness or death if you do get COVID-19.
  • Reduce your risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others.

The more people who are vaccinated in the community, the less the risk of the virus replicating, mutating, and possibly becoming more resistant to vaccines.

What is the difference between a “three-dose primary series” and a “booster dose”? 
  • The reason for a booster dose is to restore protection that may have decreased over time to a level that is no longer effective, in people who initially responded well to a “complete vaccine series”
  • This is different than a third dose which might be added to the standard “primary vaccine series” with the aim of enhancing the immune response and establishing an adequate level of protection for people who did not develop immunity or developed a sub-optimal immune response to a 2-dose primary series.
  • In short – a primary series for most healthy people remains 2-doses, and for these people, a third (booster) dose is offered to boost the immune system. A third-dose primary series is offered to those who are immunocompromised or vulnerable to ensure they have an adequate immune response and are protected. A fourth (booster) dose is then offered to this population to boost their immune response.  
Why should I get vaccinated/get a third (booster) dose if I already had COVID-19 recently and have some natural immunity? 
  • Currently, data is limited regarding the immune response provided by prior COVID-19 infection and the length of protection provided from infection. However, there is early evidence that immunity from previous COVID-19 infection without vaccination does not provide the best protection against reinfection with COVID-19.
  • Vaccination is recommended for everyone regardless of previous COVID-19 infection to prevent serious illness and complications from COVID-19. It is further recommended that adults aged 18 and older get a third (booster) dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if at least three months (84 days) have passed since their second dose.
  • For youth 12 to 17 a third (booster) dose is recommended for those who received the second dose of their vaccine more than six months (168 days) ago.
  • Developing immunity from infection, sometimes called “natural immunity,” requires exposure to an unpredictable virus with known serious consequences including risk of severe illness and death. Vaccines provide a way for your body to develop its own natural immunity to COVID-19 without the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection.  
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding? 
  • COVID-19 vaccination (including getting your booster dose) is strongly recommended before becoming pregnant or in any trimester of pregnancy. Getting vaccinated, as soon as possible, is the safest choice to protect yourself and your baby from the known risks of COVID-19 infection.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends you get a complete series with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and complications from COVID-19 infection.
  • The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) also recommends that all individuals who are pregnant or those trying to become pregnant should receive all COVID-19 vaccination doses, including the booster dose, when eligible. Pregnant individuals who are unvaccinated are at risk for severe COVID-19 complications.
  • If you get vaccinated while breastfeeding, the vaccine itself will not transfer into breastmilk, but studies suggest that the antibodies you produce following vaccination will, which may protect your baby from COVID-19.
For more information to help you make an informed choice about whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, see: Make sure you understand as much as you can about COVID-19, vaccines, and boosters. Speak with a trusted source, such as your obstetrician, midwife, family doctor or nurse, about any questions that you might have.  
I am concerned about reports of myocarditis or pericarditis following the COVID-19 vaccine. What information is there? 
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

How do I get a copy of my proof of vaccination/vaccine receipt after vaccination? 
For information on vaccine certificates and proof of vaccination, including how to get your vaccine certificate with QR code, visit our Vaccination Proof and Certificates page. 
Can I travel after being vaccinated with a full series of a COVID-19 vaccine? What if I have a mixed dose schedule? 

Many people are beginning to travel once again. It is important to assess your own personal risk. It is also important to be aware of the COVID-19 situation at your travel destination. Please check with the country you are travelling to for vaccine, testing, isolation and other requirements.

If you have a mixed dose series, please know that you are well protected from a COVID-19 infection. Mixed dose schedules continue to be safe and effective. When travelling to other countries, it is important to check with the country you are travelling to for their requirements.

If you do travel outside of Canada, you should plan how you will meet Canada’s travel requirements when you return. Work your way through the COVID-19: Entering Canada requirements checklist to understand what you will need to do.

For more information on Canada’s travel measures, see:

Do I still need to stay home if I'm ill, even after I received my vaccination? 

It is still possible to come in contact with the COVID-19 virus and develop symptoms if you are fully vaccinated. To help stop the spread and protect others who may not be vaccinated or who are unable to be vaccinated, it is important that people who develop symptoms (even if fully vaccinated) continue to take precautions like staying home when sick.

If you become ill with any symptoms of COVID-19, even after receiving the vaccine, complete the Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 self-assessment for recommendations on what to do next. You may be required to self-isolate and seek testing if eligible. For more information, visit Ontario.ca/exposed. For questions related to COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines, you can also call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information line at 1-888-777-0730.

Huron Perth Public Health continues to recommend that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 consult with a health care provider if they have questions or concerns.

More information

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