How does getting the COVID-19 vaccine help protect me and my community?

As members of communities across Canada, we want to help support and protect each other throughout the ongoing pandemic. Here are some ways in which getting vaccinated will help both you and your community stay protected against the virus.  

Anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 is at risk of becoming infected themselves, and of infecting others. Having the vaccine in your system will help protect you from the virus and will make sure that if you contract COVID-19, the illness will be milder and the existing strain on the hospital system will not increase. Getting vaccinated will also help make sure that members of your community will have milder symptoms of the virus, and protect them from hospitalization as well. 

The COVID-19 vaccine teaches our cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response and creates antibodies to help keep us from becoming very sick if we catch the virus. The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus so that your body will fight it off more easily. This can reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 and make your symptoms milder if you do get it. The vaccine cannot cause COVID-19. This is because they do not contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the disease. Some people may experience side effects from the vaccine, but these will likely be mild to moderate and go away after a few days. The most common side effects include arm pain, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever. It is important to receive the second dose even if you experience mild or moderate side effects.  

Drugs, including vaccines, are regulated under the Food and Drugs Act regulations. They must meet the regulatory requirements for safety, efficacy and quality before they can be approved for use and distribution in Canada. The federal government (Health Canada) is responsible for approving vaccines. Once a vaccine is in use, Canada has a strong vaccine safety monitoring system to alert public health authorities of changing trends or adverse reactions that were not previously reported. 

As more people become protected, severe illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 become less likely. As a result, the community is protected, and we will be able to get back to doing the things we love. It is normal to have questions and concerns about the vaccine, and these can be addressed through research and talking to a healthcare provider. The sooner we all get vaccinated, the quicker we can get back to the people and activities that we love. 

Based on content from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit 

Supplementary Links: 

General Information on COVID-19 Vaccines  

COVID-19 vaccine safety  

Camisha Rahmatian, agente de projet, Familles Canada

Camisha Rahmatian

Project Officer

Families Canada