COVID-19 Vaccination

Registering for a Vaccine

Residents in Phase 1 can book a vaccine appointment online or by phone starting March 15. More information to come.

Check eligibility

Only vaccines that are safe and effective will be approved for use in Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use. Learn about authorized vaccines for COVID-19.

When vaccines will be available

The Province's three-phase COVID-19 vaccination program is in Phase 1. At this time, there is no sign-up or waiting list. The vaccine will be distributed to populations of highest priority and based on vaccine supply.

  • Phase 1: December 2020 to March 2021

    Current priority

    • Long-term care residents
    • High-risk retirement home residents
    • Staff / essential caregivers of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes
    • Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors
    • Highest priority health care workers
    • Indigenous adults in northern remote and high-risk communities

    Next priority

    • Adults 80 years of age and older
    • Staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors
    • High priority health care workers
    • Indigenous adults
    • Adult recipients of chronic home care
  • Phase 2: April to July 2021
    • Older adults, beginning with those 79 years of age and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout
    • People who live and work in high-risk congregate settings, such as shelters and community living
    • Essential frontline workers, including first responders, education workers and food manufacturing workers
    • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers
    • Primary caregivers
    • Caregivers in select congregate settings, such as developmental services, mental health and homes for special care
    • Communities at greater risk

    See a detailed listing of Phase 2 eligibility.

  • Phase 3: August to December 2021
    • Remaining Ontarians over 16 years old who wish to be vaccinated

We know many are anxious to get the vaccine, including those who are considered higher-risk or have other underlying health conditions. Please continue to follow all public health guidelines to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

How you will know when it's your turn

We'll use a variety of communication channels to reach those who are eligible in each phase, including web, social media, TV, newspapers, and community partners, such as doctors and pharmacists.

How to book a vaccine appointment

Once the provincial booking system is open to the public, residents in Phase 1 can book their appointments online or by phone. The booking system is expected to open March 15 and will only be available to those who are eligible.

Community Coordination Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccination

Learn about the task force, including its role, responsibilities and members.

Frequently asked questions

  • General information

    There are COVID-19 vaccines now. Why is there a wait to get one?

    Niagara received fewer vaccines, and at a later date, than other places in Ontario. Also, when compared to other areas of the province, Niagara has more residents living in congregate settings. These delays in delivery, and a larger number of residents in places like long-term care homes, resulted in the Region being about a month behind some other places in the province.

    When the provincial booking system launches and supply increases in March, Niagara is ready to deliver mass vaccination at the same time as the rest of the province.

    Why should I get vaccinated if the COVID-19 infection has a high survival rate?

    COVID-19 can be a serious illness for anyone and for some people symptoms can last for months. The vaccine is safe and virtually eliminates the risk of serious illness and death. The benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential drawbacks.

    How were the COVID-19 vaccines developed so fast?

    The rapid development was made possible by decades of advances in vaccine technology. Specific research into coronaviruses gave a head start to developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Watch COVID-19: How vaccines are developed.

    Can I get COVID-19 from the shot?

    No. There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine.

    Can the COVID-19 vaccine change my DNA?

    No. The vaccine doesn't change your DNA in any way.

    I have heard there are new strains of the COVID-19 virus. Is there information about the effectiveness of the existing vaccine on the new strain?

    Currently, experts believe the vaccine will work with the new strains, and some of the early research supports that.

    Where can I find data on Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) for COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada?

    Health Canada has released a COVID-19 vaccine safety in Canada dashboard.

    Where can I find a list of ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines?

  • Prioritization

    I'm prioritized for vaccination in Phase 1, but I haven't been notified yet. When can I expect to receive the vaccine?

    We appreciate waiting to be vaccinated is frustrating. Although we're in Phase 1, vaccination is happening for different priority groups even within Phase 1.

    I'm concerned I won't receive notice that I'm eligible for early vaccination. How can I be added to a priority list of vaccination recipients?

    Public Health doesn't have a list you can be added to.

    I’ve heard about vaccine queue jumpers in the news. What measures are in place to make sure this doesn’t happen in Niagara?

    We ensure that everyone being vaccinated is part of the current priority group. Learn about the ethical framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Ontario.

    I'm concerned about equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations globally. What is our government doing about this?

    Learn more about Canada’s investments to support equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

  • If you're getting vaccinated soon

    I just got vaccinated for something else. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine now?

    You should wait 14 days before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if you have had another type of vaccine. After receiving your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you shouldn't receive any other vaccines for 28 days. If for some reason you need another vaccine within 28 days, discuss this with your doctor or health care provider.

    If I tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, should I still get the vaccine?

    If you had COVID-19 in the past, you're likely to have some immunity. Immunity to COVID-19 is still being studied, but is generally strong within 90 days of infection and can reduce over time. Where supply is available, people with past illness in the last 90 days are still recommended for vaccination since vaccine might provide better immunity than natural infection.

    I’m feeling unwell. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine now?

    You shouldn't get the vaccine if you're sick or have COVID-19 right now. Wait until you're better to get the shot.

    What do I need to know about the second dose?

    It's important for individuals to ask the health care professional performing the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination when to expect their second dose.

    If your second dose vaccination appointment was cancelled, you will be notified about a second dose that will be given within the acceptable interval. For more information, contact the home where you received your first dose.

    If I had a reaction to a different vaccine in the past, can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Most people who had a reaction to a prior vaccine can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past. They will look at your medical records and advise you accordingly.

    Is it acceptable for someone with food or seasonal allergies to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes. If you have allergies that are not related to any components of the COVID-19 vaccine, you can still be vaccinated.

    Who should not get the vaccine?

    People who have had a serious allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine cannot receive the vaccine. For the current COVID-19 vaccine, if you have an allergy to polyethylene glycol, you should not get vaccinated if your past reaction was severe. Others who have had a less serious, but immediate allergic reaction, should see their health care provider for guidance.

    Who should consult with their health care provider about getting vaccinated?

    There are other groups where the vaccine has not been studied enough to be completely certain about its safety, but based on general scientific knowledge and experience with previous vaccines there are no reasons to think it would be unsafe.

    • Pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant
    • People who are breastfeeding
    • People with compromised immune systems or autoimmune diseases

    We would generally recommend vaccination for people in the above groups with a high-risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as those working in long-term care and retirement homes. However, the potential risks and benefits should be discussed with your doctor or another healthcare provider.

  • After being vaccinated

    How will I receive proof of vaccination for COVID-19?

    The health care professional performing your COVID-19 vaccination will provide you with a client record. Keep this important handout with your own immunization records and let your health care provider know you were immunized.

    Do I still need to self-isolate for 14 days after returning from a trip if I travel after receiving the vaccine?

    Yes. Self-isolation for two weeks following travel is a requirement under federal law, and will continue to remain in effect for those who have received the vaccine. At this time, non-essential travel is not recommended.

    Once a person is vaccinated with the series of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, can they stop following public health measures like wearing a mask, physical distancing and self-isolating when they become sick?

    No. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue practising public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

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