About the vaccine

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, including eligibility and timing between doses, you can find out more below. You can also: 

  • Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5pm (excluding holidays)
  • Call Huron Perth Public Health at 1-888-221-2133 
  • Book an appointment for a phone call with a VaxFacts Clinic doctor, or call 416-438-2911 ext. 5738
  • Contact your health care provider

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

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

All residents are encouraged to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations to maintain protection against severe outcomes of the virus. To learn more, visit COVID-19 vaccines.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone aged six months and older is eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine at no cost in Ontario (children must be at least 6 months old at the time of vaccination). 

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and recommended timing between doses, visit the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 vaccines webpage.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination

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:

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

To inquire about receiving Novavax Nuvaxovid, a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, contact your local pharmacy.

Additional doses

Protection after your last dose may decrease over time, especially against new variants. Additional doses help to restore protection that may have decreased since your last dose and help keep you protected against severe outcomes from the virus.

Eligibility and booking for additional doses are based on the interval since your last dose or following a confirmed COVID-19 infection. In general, additional doses can be received if it has been at least six months (168 days) since your last dose or confirmed COVID-19 infection. 

COVID-19 Vaccination for Infants and Children 

Not all children have only mild symptoms when they contract COVID-19. Being vaccinated can help improve the immune response to COVID-19 infection and lower the chances of severe illness, hospitalization, and post COVID-19 symptoms if your child becomes infected with COVID-19. Vaccination is the best and safest way to give an extra layer of protection for all children, including those aged six months to four years. 

For more information, please speak with your healthcare provider or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. 

Additional resources for COVID-19 vaccination for children and youth: 

Informed Consent

Anyone getting the COVID-19 vaccine, including youth ages 12 to 17, must provide informed consent. Informed consent means that you understand: 

  • what the vaccine involves (for example, how it is given and what possible side effects there may be)
  • why it is recommended
  • the risks and benefits of getting or not getting it

If someone is unable to provide informed consent to receive the vaccine (for example, for medical reasons), they will need consent from someone who can make a decision on their behalf, such as a parent or legal guardian. We encourage parents and guardians to discuss vaccination with their children prior to attending a clinic. 

Should I get vaccinated/get an additional vaccine dose if I had COVID-19?

If you've had COVID-19, you should still be vaccinated for protection from reinfection or severe outcomes. While infection alone provides some protection, vaccination after infection helps improve the immune response and provides better and longer-lasting protection. 

Evidence shows that waiting at least six months after a previous COVID-19 vaccine dose or infection can help improve the immune response. Discuss the best timing for you with a healthcare provider. 

For more information: 

Timing with other vaccinations

For individuals 6 months and older, COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as, or at any time before or after, non-COVID-19 vaccines, with the exception of Imvamune (mpox vaccine) as well as tuberculosis skin testing. 

Speak to your healthcare provider if you have questions. 

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine or additional dose if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • COVID-19 vaccination (including additional doses) is strongly recommended before becoming pregnant or in any trimester of pregnancy. Getting vaccinated 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) and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommend individuals trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or breastfeeding should receive all COVID-19 vaccination doses, including a booster dose, when eligible. Pregnant individuals who are unvaccinated are at risk for severe COVID-19 complications. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and complications from COVID-19 infection.
  • 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 and vaccines. Speak with a trusted source, such as your obstetrician, midwife, family doctor or nurse practitioner, or book an appointment with VaxFacts for a phone consult with a doctor about any questions that you might have. 

What are side effects of the vaccine?

As with any vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine is no different and you may experience some common, mild side effects after your vaccination which may 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 40C)
  • convulsions or seizures
  • 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 health care provider. 

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. 

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 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.

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

Do I still need to stay home when I'm ill, even if I'm vaccinated?

To prevent spreading illness to others you should stay home when sick.

Visit the provincial webpage, Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses to learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. 

If you think you may have COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus, please see the following provincial resources for more information: 

  • COVID-19 health advice for a list of symptoms, instructions on self-isolating, and additional precautions
  • Take the COVID-19 self-assessment to receive recommendations on what to do if you have symptoms of illness or have tested positive for COVID-19. You can also complete the assessment on behalf of someone else. 
How do I keep myself healthy? 

There are several actions you can take to reduce your risk of illness: 

  • Stay home when sick
  • Get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with vaccines
  • Wear a mask, especially in indoor public settings and considering wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings
  • Avoid crowded indoor spaces; choose well ventilated spaces when possible
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Screen yourself and loved ones for any symptoms and use COVID-19 rapid tests
  • Improve ventilation and filtration in your home and maintain HVAC systems
  • Seek out COVID-19 antiviral treatments, if eligible

Each of these actions can be thought of as "layers" and each layer adds protection. The more layers an individual uses, the more protected they are. For more information about protecting yourself, your family, and community visit Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

Travel Information

If you are travelling internationally, check to see if there are any COVID-19 restrictions or requirements in your destination country. 

Visit these webpages from the Government of Canada for information and advice about travelling outside of the country and returning to Canada: 

How do I get a copy of my proof of vaccination/vaccine receipt?

After your vaccination, if you provided an email address, your proof of vaccination will be emailed to you and will be accessible for 5 days. If this has expired or you never received an email: 

For more information see Vaccination Proof and Certificates.

If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine outside of the Province of Ontario, you must complete the COVID-19 Out-of-Province Dose Documentation form prior to booking an appointment for your next dose or to obtain your proof of vaccination certificate.