COVID-19 vaccine safety

Learn about the safety of covid 19 vaccines, how they work and possible side effects.

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Overview

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus so your body can fight it off more effectively if you are infected.

Keeping up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations can reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus and provide strong protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and its variants.

Approved vaccines in Canada

Only vaccines that Health Canada has approved and determined to be safe and effective will be administered in Ontario.

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

  • mRNA vaccines:
  • Virus-like particle vaccines:
    • Novavax
    • Medicago
  • Viral vector-based vaccines:
    • AstraZeneca (AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD)
    • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

The vaccines:

  • were tested on a large number of people through extensive clinical trials
  • have met all the requirements for approval, including safety
  • are monitored by Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada for any adverse reactions that may occur after vaccination so that appropriate measures can be taken

When you should consult your doctor before getting the vaccine

Speak with your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about getting the vaccine or if you or the person you are booking for:

  • are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment (to discuss optimal timing for vaccination)
  • have had a severe allergic reaction following COVID-19 vaccination or have an allergy to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine

Read the Canadian Immunization Guide for more information.

Who should not get the vaccine

You should not get the vaccine if you have:

  • symptoms of COVID-19 or are currently isolating
  • another acute disease, such as strep throat, flu or pneumonia

General vaccine information

For questions and general information about COVID-19 vaccination, you can:

  • call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired:  1-866-797-0007)
    • information is available in more than 300 languages
    • this line is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week
  • contact your health care provider
  • contact your local public health unit

Help with the provincial online vaccine booking system

For help with booking through the provincial online vaccine booking system, please:

  • visit our  booking support page
  • call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at  1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired:  1-866-797-0007)
    • information is available in more than 300 languages
    • this line is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week