Why is it important to get vaccinated?
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and its complications. Besides reducing the risk of contracting and spreading the disease, it contributes greatly to avoiding hospitalization and deaths linked to the COVID-19 virus.
How many doses are necessary?
Vaccination against COVID-19 consists of basal doses and booster doses. The recommended number of doses depends on several factors, such as an individual’s age and state of health.
In general, individuals aged six months and older should receive two basal doses.
Basal doses are offered to individuals aged five years and older.
It is recommended that adults, pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals aged 12 years and older receive one booster dose if their last dose of the vaccine was administered five or more months previously, regardless of the number of prior doses received.
It is recommended to wait at least three months after contracting the disease before receiving a new dose of the vaccine.
For immunosuppressed individuals (those with a weakened immune system) or those on dialysis, the number of doses is different. In general, they should receive three basal doses, plus the booster doses. It is particularly important for these individuals to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 according to the recommendations, as they are at greater risk of developing serious forms of the disease if they are infected. Immunosuppressed individuals may contact their CLSC to know if they are adequately protected.
Why is a booster dose necessay?
The vaccines against COVID-19 have proven to be very effective. However, the data demonstrate that this protection tends to diminish several months after administration of the last dose of the vaccine. A booster dose enables the immune system to re-establish an adequate level of antibodies and to ensure better protection against the virus and its variants.
What are the side effects?
After the vaccine is given, it is common to experience mild side effects. These effects may last for a few days, can be unpleasant, but are not dangerous. It is the body's natural response that occurs to build immunity against disease. Most common side effects are:
- pain at the site of injection,
- muscle or joints aches,
- swollen armpit nodes,
- fever and shivering.
Some redness and swelling at the injection site might also happen, sometimes appearing over a week after vaccination.
Is the vaccine safe?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe. They have been studied with the same care as other vaccines previously used to protect against other diseases and have been approved by Health Canada. To date, there have been millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered around the world. All of them provide additional evidence that the vaccine is safe.
There is a tiny risk of an allergic reaction to vaccines. This rare reaction affects about 2 in 100,000 people who receive the vaccine. It usually occurs soon after the vaccine is given and it is treatable. This is why it’s important to remain monitored for at least 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.
Inflammation of the heart’s muscle or envelope called myocarditis or pericarditis may also occur but remain quite rare (2 in 100,000 people). Young men under the age of 30 are more at risk of developing this side effect. Cases most often present mild symptoms and recover quickly.
How can I get vaccinated?
Vaccines against COVID-19 are offered throughout Nunavik to everyone 6 months and older. You can call your local CLSC/Nursing Station for an appointment.