Ontario has a three-phase plan that prioritizes vaccines for those at greatest risk of severe illness and those who care for them. As vaccine supply is delivered across the province, public health units may have different vaccine administration rates based on local context.
Ontario is using different channels to administer the vaccines and reach most of the population. Implementation will vary as each channel, priority population and vaccine has specific criteria that require flexibility.
How to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment
COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in Canada who are recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health bodies. Find the information at this link Ontario-Covid19.Ontatio.ca on how you can schedule your vaccine appointments in Ontario. You can also do this for someone else, if you manage their medical care and appointments.
Use this system to verify your identity and book your vaccination appointment.
To book you must:
- meet the current eligibility criteria as outlined in phase one and phase two of our three-phase plan
- have a green photo health (OHIP) card (you will need numbers on both sides of the card, expired cards will be accepted)
- have an email address (or you can use the email of the person helping you)
If you are not a member of one of these groups, you may not be currently eligible. Learn when more groups will become eligible:
- 55 years old or older in 2021
- 40 to 54 years old in 2021
- Front-line health care workers
- Personal support workers
- Licensed child care workers
- Special education workers
- Education workers in elementary and secondary schools
- Essential caregivers for care home residents
- Residents and staff in shelters, community living, or other group living settings
- Residents and staff in long-term care, assisted living, or retirement homes
- First Nations Elder care home residents and staff
- First Nations, Métis, and Inuit adults
- People with highest risk health conditions and their caregivers
- Chronic home health care recipients
What to expect at your vaccination
Health Canada has authorized vaccines for use in Canada. Not all of the authorized vaccines are available in all areas of the country.
All authorized vaccines are proven safe, effective and of high quality.
For detailed information on authorized vaccines, including how they work, ingredients and possible side effects, go to:
Before you get to your appointment
Before you arrive at your vaccination appointment:
- talk to your health care provider about any questions or concerns you may have about vaccination
- plan which strategies you'll use during vaccination to limit discomfort or pain
- contact your provincial or territorial health authority if you have additional questions about how to prepare for your vaccination
Tips for a comfortable vaccination experience
Some people may experience pain or discomfort from vaccination because of the needle. But there are a number of techniques you can use to make the vaccination more comfortable and limit pain or discomfort.
Some helpful strategies include:
- sit upright during vaccination
- wear a short-sleeved or loose-fitting top
- relax your arm by letting it feel loose and jiggly
- use deep breathing to help you relax and feel calm
- if you feel dizzy or faint, tell the person who's vaccinating you right away
- distract yourself by reading or listening to music, or have a conversation
- talk to your health care provider ahead of time about pain relief that you can take
Possible side effects and reactions
After getting vaccinated, it's common and normal to have temporary side effects. These can last a few hours to a few days after vaccination. This is the body's natural response, as it's working hard to build protection against the disease.
Common vaccine side effects may include:
|Symptoms at the injection site, such as:||Flu-like symptoms, such as:|
Managing common side effects at home
You can take medicine after your vaccination to help with any pain or to lower a fever. Ask your health care provider what they recommend to manage symptoms.
You can also:
- apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area you received the injection
- use or exercise your arm
- drink plenty of fluids
Allergic (anaphylactic) reactions are very rare. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy)
- swelling of the face, tongue or throat
- difficulty breathing
Call 911 right away if you develop any serious symptoms after vaccination or symptoms that could be an allergic reaction.
Reporting a possible serious reaction
You should also report any serious reactions or side effects to your health care provider. Reported allergic reactions and side effects to COVID-19 vaccines are published weekly:
After getting vaccinated
The person vaccinating you will let you know where to wait and for how long after vaccination. The usual wait time is about 15 minutes or more. This allows time for you to be watched for possible reactions or side effects. Let someone know if you're experiencing any symptoms following vaccination.
After vaccination, ask for a record of any vaccines you receive.
If a second dose is needed, return at the time advised by your health care provider.
Continuing public health measures
It isn't yet known whether the spread of COVID-19 can be stopped by vaccination alone. Because of this, it's essential that everyone continue to follow public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Get income support if you can't work or are self-isolating due to covid 19.
Call 1-833-966-2099 and press 0 to speak to someone if you have questions.
Help stop the spread of Covid-19
The virus can be spread to others from someone who’s infected but not showing symptoms. This includes people who:
• haven’t yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic)
• never develop symptoms (asymptomatic)
This kind of spread is known to happen among those who are in close contact or are in enclosed or crowded settings.
covid 19 can be a deadly disease. You can take actions to help stop the spread:
- Only travel if it’s essential, and isolate for 14 days if you do.
- Stay home – save lives and don’t put others at risk.
- Practise physical distancing – stay 2 metres away from anyone who is not in your household.
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often.
- Learn about face coverings – how to use, clean and dispose.
- Get the facts about covid 19 – basics, symptoms and treatment.
- Get sector-specific resources to prevent covid 19 in the workplace.
- Updates and resources from Public Health Ontario.