All of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19. They are safe, reliable, and can help protect you, your family, and our community from COVID-19.
- Works with your immune system to help protect you from SARSS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- Is a safe and effective way to help build protection against the virus
- Is voluntary, but strongly encouraged
There is a chance that you may still get COVID-19 from another person after being vaccinated so it is important that we continue to follow public health measures such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, and staying home if you are sick.
Health Canada has conducted thorough and independent reviews and authorized the following vaccines for use in Canada:
- On December 9, 2020 the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (now approved for age 6 months and older)
- On December 23, 2020 the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (now approved for age 6 months and older)
- The Moderna Spikevax® Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine (Original and Omicron B.1.1.529 (BA.1)) is approved as a booster for people who are 18 years of age and older
- On February 26, 2021 the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
- On March 5, 2021 the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 Vaccines for children
On July 14, 2022 Health Canada authorized the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine for use in children between 6 months and 5 years of age. Provinces and territories will be rolling out vaccination programs for this age group soon. Please check your provincial, territorial or local health authority website for info on when the vaccine will be available in your area.
As a parent or guardian, you want what's best for your child. It's normal to ask questions about COVID-19 vaccines before making a decision. Learn more here.
More COVID-19 resources for children.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Indigenous Peoples
The Government of Canada is working to secure safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19 for Indigenous peoples, and all of Canada. This is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 adn resuming normal life.
Contact your local Friendship Centre about booking your vaccine.
Book a Vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine is saving lives. Vaccines do more than protect the people getting vaccinated, they also protect everyone around them. Book an appointment in your province or territory today:
To learn more about the rollout in provinces and territories, click on the regions below.
Travel: proof of vaccination for Indigenous peoples and Northerners in remote communities
As of October 30, 2021, if you are travelling in Canada by plane or train and if you are 12 and 4 months or older, you will need proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
Find out more info here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Omicron-targeting bivalent COVID-19 vaccine and is it safe?
The Omicron-targeting bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is the first variant-targeting COVID-19 booster shot. It has become a milestone in Canada's pandemic response and a step closer to COVID-19 becoming an endemic. This booster is two vaccines in one and targets both the original strain of COVID-19 as well as the Omicron variant. Health Canada has determined Moderna’s bivalent Moderna Spikevax booster is safe and effective and generates a good immune response against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and is expected to extend protection. Please note that this vaccine is only available as a booster dose.
What do the Omicron boosters contain?
The Omicron boosters are considered bivalent vaccines. That means they contain the mRNA sequence for the spike protein of two strains of SARS-CoV-2, the original strain from Wuhan, and
the current predominant subvariant of Omicron, BA.5. Because the spike protein on the surface of both Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are the same, this booster should protect against both. Please note that this is only available as a booster since it only contains half of the original strain.
Who can receive the bivalent COVID-19 booster shot?
In Canada, the bivalent booster shot is available through Moderna to individuals who are 18 and over.
How long should I wait to receive the bivalent COVID-19 booster shot after receiving a booster dose?
You have to wait two months from your booster dose to receive the bivalent booster shot.
Have they tested the new booster on humans?
Yes, Moderna’s Omicron-targeting bivalent vaccine has been tested on humans. Currently the only one approved in Canada, it has gone through vigorous testing by Health Canada to ensure that it meets standards for safety, quality and efficacy.
Does the Omicron specific booster provide better protection?
That depends on how much BA.4 and BA.5 are still circulating by the time the shots are delivered and administered, as well as how closely the next dominant strain matches them. It also depends on how many people have immunity from a recent infection. However, a variant-specific booster will give you a better booster than an ancestral-based booster even if it is not a perfect match. The most important thing is getting boosted.
Are there any side effects of the Omicron-targeting bivalent COVID-19 vaccine?
Similar to the other ones, the main side effects are soreness at the injection site and short-term fatigue.
Are there special rules for those who are immunocompromised?
No, in fact, this bivalent vaccine would be very beneficial for those who are immunocompromised.
Why has the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now said that we should consider getting a vaccine every 90 days? Should I follow this recommendation?
Provinces and territories design and deliver their own vaccination programs. When making decisions about their programs, they consider the needs and circumstances, including COVID-19 activity, of their region. Because of this, vaccination recommendations and timing on what vaccines are being offered may differ by region.
If you have questions about the timing of your COVID-19 vaccine doses following a COVID-19 infection, contact your province or territory and/or your health care professional.
Can I and should I get vaccinated after a previous COVID-19 infection?
Yes, it is safe and recommended that individuals receive a vaccine after being infected with COVID-19. While infection provides some protection, vaccination after infection helps improve the immune response and provides better and longer-lasting protection. It is recommended that you receive your booster dose 3 to 6 months after you have been infected with the virus for better immune response.
Can I mix and match vaccines, especially now with the bivalent booster?
Yes, there is no issue to mix and match vaccines if you are eligible for the vaccine.
With everything getting back to normal, does that mean that COVID-19 is winding down?
No, scientists have predicted that it will linger far into the future. The virus has gotten better and better at getting around immunity from vaccination and past infection. COVID-19 will likely be with us for the rest of our lives but with proper measures such as vaccines and other precautions, we are getting better at fighting it in that it’s not causing serious illness in many as when it originally emerged.
How can I protect myself and my family from COVID-19 since everything is going back to normal?
The best way you can protect yourself and your family is to wear a mask even if they are not mandated, get vaccinated (and get the booster dose), check for symptoms if you or your family are feeling ill and isolate if you do test positive. While all of these measures are not perfect, in coordination with one another will protect you and your loved ones.
Should I get vaccinated against the flu even though I am up to date with my COVID-19 booster doses?
Yes, you should get the flu vaccine as they are different viruses. The COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses will not protect you against the flu.
Is it safe to get both the flu shot and a booster dose?
Yes. You can even get them at the same time, on the same day and even on the same arm.
With the upcoming flu season, how do I know if I have COVID-19, the flu, or a cold?
Why should I get my child vaccinated against COVID-19?
Children who get infected with COVID-19 are at risk of getting very sick, and can require hospitalization and in rare cases, can even die. The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and a more reliable way to build protection and immunity against the virus than risking the potentially grave consequences of infection. COVID-19 can also cause a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems in young children and teens. The vaccine can help prevent them from getting serious illness from the virus and can help prevent serious short- and long-term complications of COVID-19.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children and teens?
Yes. Clinical trials were conducted with thousands of children to establish its safety and effectiveness. To date, millions of children worldwide ranging from 5 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Are the vaccines for children the same as the one for adults? How was it developed?
Although the active ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccines for children and the one for adults are the same, children receive a smaller, age-appropriate dose that is the right size for them. The smaller doses went through rigorous testing and were found to create the needed immune response for each age group. Your child should only get the vaccine made specifically for their age group, their size or weight do not matter.
What are the side effects of the vaccine on children?
The side effects are typically mild and temporary, similar to those one would get after a routine vaccine. Severe side effects among children are rare and when they do occur, it is typically within a few days of having been vaccinated. There are no long-term side effects, and some children have had no side effects. The known risks and potential severe complications from being infected with COVID-19 outweigh the potential risk of vaccination side effects.
Can my child or teen get COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, the current vaccines available to that age group does not use the live virus that causes COVID-19 and does not interact or alter DNA. The vaccine simply teaches the body how to fight the virus and then gets rid of the mRNA that is in the vaccine within a few days after being vaccinated.
Are there any developmental or fertility risks for my child if they get vaccinated before puberty?
No. There is no data to show that the COVID-19 vaccine can cause fertility or other puberty issues in males or females.
Are there risks of my child getting myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination?
Rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported in children and teens 5 years and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
However, new studies have shown the rare risk of myocarditis and pericarditis can be further prevented with a longer time between first and second doses, particularly with males between the ages of 12 and 39 years.
Can my child still get the flu shot or other routine vaccines?
Yes, children and teens can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other routine vaccines, even during the same visit with your health care provider. If multiple vaccinations are given during the same visit, each injection will be given in a different injection site.
Should my child get a booster dose?
Yes. Everyone over the age of 5 should get a booster dose if they are eligible.
Which vaccine should I get for my child?
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. You should get whichever is available to you.
My child has already been infected with COVID-19, should they still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. People can get enhanced protection by getting vaccinated after they have had the virus. For children, their next dose should be around 3 months from when their COVID-19 symptoms began or if they did not have symptoms then 3 months after they tested positive for the virus.
How long should I wait after having a COVID-19 infection before getting my next vaccine dose?
It is recommended that you receive your booster dose 6 months after you tested positive for COVID-19 or started having symptoms. A shorter interval of at least 3 months may be recommended in some circumstances.
Children and youth who have had COVID-19 infection before receiving any primary doses should wait 2 months before receiving 1st or 2nd doses. Youth aged 12 to 17 who are eligible for booster doses should wait 6 months following infection.
Why are people still getting infected and transmitting the virus to others?
Vaccinations help to reduce infections and serious illness from COVID-19. That doesn’t mean that people who get vaccinated are completely immune to infection. Those who are fully vaccinated and boosted can still become infected with COVID-19 and transmit the virus to others, which is why it important to be vaccinated to help maximize protection for yourself and others.
Why is it important to get your boosters?
Immunity from vaccinations decreases over time, which is why it is important to get boosters to help increase immunity to maximize protection against COVID-19 and its variants.
Why should I vaccinate my child? Is it safe?
Children are not immune to COVID-19 and can still have infections that cause hospitalization,
can be asymptomatic and spread COVID-19 to others, and experience long-term effects.
Children with underlying medical conditions may have an increased risk of severe illness from
COVID-19 infection. Pre-existing conditions include obesity, asthma, Down syndrome, neurological
disorders, immunocompromised conditions, and conditions that require a lot of care.
Vaccinations are safe and effective for protecting children against serious illness from COVID-19. Make
sure to speak with your health care provider to see what is best for your child.
What are the possible short- and long-term effects
of the vaccine?
Short-term side effects from the vaccine include: redness, soreness, and swelling at the infection site, chills, fatigue, mild fever, muscle aches, joint pain, and headaches.
Adverse reactions to immunization are extremely rare, accounting for only 0.011% of all doses administered. Any negative effects from vaccination usually occur within 6 weeks of receiving your shot, and the data supports that COVID-19 vaccinations are safe having over a year’s worth of data.
What are the long term effects of COVID-19?
Post COVID-19 conditions, also known as long COVID, can be experienced by people for months after infection.
Post COVID-19 condition symptoms for adults include fatigue, memory problems, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, anxiety and depression, general pain and discomfort, difficulty thinking or concentrating, posttraumatic stress disorder.
In children, Post COVID-19 condition symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, lack of concentration, cognitive difficulties or delirium, headaches, abdominal pain, muscle aches and pains or joint pains, and sleep problems.
When am I fully vaccinated?
You need to wait at least two full weeks after you have had your second dose, before you are fully vaccinated. This two-week period is the time where your body is building up its protection against the virus.
Do I need to use a mask if I'm fully vaccinated?
If you are in a setting where everyone is fully vaccinated, it is safe to remove your mask. Two weeks after your second dose, the risk of transmitting the virus is very low.
However, we suggest continuing to follow your local public health orders. That means not hosting or attending indoor social gatherings with people outside your household if these rules are still in place.
What are the long-term side effects of the vaccine?
Any adverse side effects from vaccines almost always show up within the first two weeks, and certainly by the first two months.
That's why health experts asked the US Food and Drug Administration to wait at least two months after trial participants had been inoculated before considering whether to give emergency authorization to Covid-19 vaccines.
Will the vaccine hurt my fertility?
There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems.
The benefits of getting vaccinated if you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant far outweigh the risks, because pregnancy puts a person at higher risk for severe Covid-19 illness.
Some research also suggests Covid-19 vaccines provide some level of protection to newborns.
What if I don’t want to get the vaccine?
Refusing the Covid-19 vaccine actually impacts a lot of people -- yourself, your loved ones, even the country as a whole
First, vaccines aren't 100% effective. So even if your friends and family are vaccinated, but you're not vaccinated, you can still carry and spread the virus to your loved ones
Second, it's a mistake to think everyone who wants a vaccine can get one. Some people are on cancer chemotherapy. They can't be vaccinated and they depend on the herd to protect them.
And third, by not being vaccinated, or being part of a reasonably sized group of people who are choosing not to get the vaccine, you're allowing the virus to continue to replicate. When it's allowed to continue to replicate, it will create mutations, which could then cause variants that are completely resistant to the immunity induced by natural infection or immunization.
I'm young and healthy, do I really need to get vaccinated?
It's critical for young, healthy adults to get vaccinated.
Young adults can get long-term Covid-19 complications. Plenty of young, healthy people have turned into Covid-19 "long-haulers.”
Many have suffered chronic fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath and brain fog months after their infection.
Do I need to get the vaccines if I’ve already had Covid-19?
Even if you've had coronavirus, you should still get vaccinated because the immunity you get from vaccination will likely be longer or stronger than the immunity you got after getting infected.
When it comes to the two-dose vaccines -- those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna -- people who have already had coronavirus should still get both doses. It's not clear how long protection after just one dose might last.
We also don't know how long protection will last after having coronavirus, so you should still be fully vaccinated.
Can you get Covid-19 from the vaccine?
It's literally impossible to get Covid-19 from any of the vaccines used in Canada because none of them contain even a piece of real coronavirus.
If I have an underlying condition, can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
People with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions.
Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines shed or release any of their components?
No. Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body. Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus.
None of the vaccines authorized for use in Canada contain a live virus. Vaccine components are not shed by COVID-19 vaccines, so it is not possible for the any of the vaccine components to accumulate in the body’s tissue or organs, including the ovaries.
The mRNA and viral vector vaccines are the two types of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines available
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
Is it safe for my child to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Similar to adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Children 12 years and older are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 12 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.
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My Vaxx Journey
The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC), along with Indigenous Youth Working Group on Vaccine Uptake, announce the official launch of the nationwide My Vaxx Journey COVID Kicks video giveaway. The youth-led My Vaxx Journey social media campaign kicks-off on February 7, 2022 and is open to First Nations, Inuit and Metis youth across Canada ages 12-29.
My Vaxx Journey aims to honour the voices of Indigenous Youth in Canada through the sharing of videos that speak to their own vaccine journeys. Each video entrant that meets giveaway criteria will be eligible to receive a pair of Retro Air Jordan 4s. Giveaway requirements, rules, consent, and Terms and Conditions are available at myvaxxjourney.ca.