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Frequently asked questions - About COVID-19 vaccines

Frequently asked questions - About COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccines don't just protect the people getting vaccinated, they protect everyone around them, too. The more people in a community who are vaccinated – and therefore protected from COVID-19 – the harder it is for it to spread.

Canada has a very thorough system to approve new vaccines for human use. Only vaccines that have been shown to be safe are approved. Once approved for use, all vaccines are closely monitored by public health officials and Health Canada for their safety. The COVID-19 vaccines currently used in Canada have been administered to millions of people around the world and have been shown to be both safe and effective.‎

 

You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. However, if you were exposed to the virus before you received your vaccine, you may be incubating the virus and not realize you have COVID-19 until after you are vaccinated. It takes about two weeks to gain protection from the COVID-19 vaccine. This means if you contracted the virus before getting the vaccine, or within the two-week period following vaccination, you may still get sick from COVID-19. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 after you’ve been vaccinated, use B.C. self-assessment tool to determine if you need to be tested.‎

 

It is common to experience some side effects after you get the vaccine. Side effects are typically mild to moderate and usually go away on their own. Learn more about what to expect when you get a COVID-19 vaccine by visiting gov.bc.ca/covid19.

It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because about one in a million people can have a serious allergic reaction, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health-care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine (adrenaline) and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.

If you have any concerns about the vaccine related to medications you are taking or allergies, please speak with your family doctor, nurse practitioner or call 8-1-1.‎

Fourteen days after receiving one dose of either vaccine, protection is greater than 90 per cent. After two doses, both vaccines are about 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19. The duration of protection is not yet known for one or two doses of the vaccine but is being studied. In general, some vaccines provide lifelong immunity, while others such as tetanus only work for 10 years. Learn more about the vaccines for COVID-19 at gov.bc.ca/covid19.‎

The Province, working closely with each local health authority, will be alerting members of the public when they become eligible to receive the vaccine. 

To facilitate access to as many eligible residents as possible, we are breaking down vaccine appointment booking times by age groups. To find out what age group is currently eligible, please visit our main COVID-19 vaccine page as this information changes regularly.  

Four COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in Canada: the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna are already in use, both are mRNA vaccines. ‎

 

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work by delivering genetic instructions from the virus that causes COVID-19 to our own cells so we produce the spike protein of the virus. These proteins will create an immune response. They teach your body how to recognize and fight future infections. Learn more on the vaccines for COVID-19 by visiting gov.bc.ca/covid19.‎

 

Yes, public health orders, restrictions and guidelines remain in place for everyone, regardless if you have received the vaccine. After immunization, it will still be important to wash your hands, adhere to physical distancing guidelines, wear a mask and stay home when sick. 

We still don’t know for certain how long the protection lasts from COVID-19 vaccines or how well they work in preventing asymptomatic infection or reducing transmission of the virus. This means that all current enhanced safety measures and COVID-19 protocols will stay in place until a significant percentage of the population has been vaccinated for COVID-19 or until it is deemed safe to relax those rules.

Nearly everyone will be able to safely receive the vaccine, although a very small number of people may need to avoid vaccination due to severe allergies to parts of the vaccine. Learn more about consideration for the vaccine by visiting gov.bc.ca/covid19.‎

 

If you are unable to leave your home for a vaccination appointment, we can help. Please call the VCH vaccination appointment phone line and inform the call centre representative that you are unable to attend a clinic. You will be referred to our Home Health team who will call you back for an assessment to receive a home visit.

Provincial health orders and guidelines remain in place for everyone, even if you have received the vaccine. Learn more about province-wide restrictions.‎

 

Yes, if you are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 2 but are not a resident of B.C., you are invited to book an appointment using the toll-free vaccine appointment booking line. You will then be able to choose to attend a vaccination clinic in your local community to receive a free vaccine. In this case, you will not need to provide a B.C. Personal Health Number or proof of residence in B.C.

Frequently asked questions - Indigenous People (First Nations, Métis, Inuit)

To find out if your age group is currently eligible to book an appointment, please review the schedule on our main COVID-19 vaccine page. If you call to book an appointment and self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), you will be offered the option to make an appointment at a recognized Indigenous owned and operated facility or the closest available clinic in your community. Indigenous-specific clinics will be set up in some urban centres and will have specific cultural elements, as well as cultural and ceremonial plans in place. All Vancouver Coastal Health clinics will be welcoming to all Indigenous people.

If your age group is eligible, call the toll-free vaccine appointment booking line at 1-833-838-2323 to book COVID-19 immunization appointments. The phone line is open daily 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

 

When you call to register for your appointment, you will be asked to self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit). You will not need to provide identification to prove it, but will need to bring a piece of photo ID and your provincial health number to the clinic.‎

 

Since travel is not recommended during the pandemic, we ask that you not return to your Nation to receive your vaccination. Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) people can attend any vaccination clinic in the community. Everyone calling the toll-free phone line to book an appointment will be asked where they live and if they identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit). They will then be able to choose to attend any clinic in their local community. There will be Indigenous owned and operated clinics in some VCH urban centres that will have Elders and cultural/ceremonial plans in place. All VCH clinics will be welcoming to all Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) people.

 

Canada has a very thorough system to approve new vaccines for human use. Only vaccines that have been shown to be safe are approved. Once approved for use, all vaccines are closely monitored by public health officials and Health Canada for their safety.

The COVID-19 vaccines currently used in Canada have been administered to millions of people around the world and have been shown to be both safe and effective.

 

Métis people can attend any Vancouver Coastal Health clinic in their local community to receive their vaccination. When you call the toll-free appointment booking line, you will be asked where you live and if you identify as Indigenous. You will then be able to choose any vaccination clinic in your community. There will be Indigenous owned and operated clinics in some urban centres that will have Elders and cultural/ceremonial plans in place. All Vancouver Coastal Health clinics will be welcoming to all Indigenous people.

As part of the first phase of the BC Immunization Plan, adults 55 years of age and older in some remote and isolated First Nation communities were vaccinated due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

 

If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine and its safety, please visit the following websites: BC Centre for Disease ControlGovernment of BC and Government of Canada. You can also speak to your health-care provider if you have further concerns or questions about the vaccine. 

All health-care workers employed by a health authority who provide direct patient or client care in the Vancouver Coastal Health region are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. This includes health-care workers employed by Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care, Provincial Health Services Authority and First Nations Health Authority. Family doctors, nurse practitioners and medical specialists who provide care in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, but who are not affiliated with a health authority, are also eligible for vaccination.‎

 

If you are Indigenous and in the age group that is currently eligible to receive a vaccine, you can register for your vaccination. If you’re non-Indigenous, you can check if you’re also eligible to register by visiting gov.bc.ca/covid19 or on our COVID-19 vaccine page.

 

Indigenous peoples have been identified as a high-risk group and have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has identified Indigenous Peoples as being at increased risk for vaccine-preventable diseases and has recommended their priority vaccination for COVID-19.

To date, the rate of COVID-19 infection among First Nations peoples in BC is more than double that of the non-First Nations individuals; the median age of death due to COVID-19 has been 18 years younger for First Nations populations compared to the provincial median.



SOURCE: Frequently asked questions - About COVID-19 vaccines ( )
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