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COVID-19 Protection & Vaccines

Local COVID-19 Vaccine Status Report – June 7, 2022

This vaccine report will now be provided the first Tuesday of each month – Next report is July 5, 2022. Vaccination stats will continue to be updated every Tuesday.

Vaccination Statistics

  • For individuals 5 plus, our first dose vaccination rate is 94.4%, and second dose rate is 91.9% and third dose rate is 63%.
  • Vaccination rate for 5 to 11 is 65.8% with a first dose – 52.5% of children 5 to 11 have received a second dose.
  • For youth age 11–17, 90.1% have second doses and 23% have third doses.
  • As of June 6, 2022 a total of 455,203 vaccinations have been administered in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) region.
  • Our vaccination dashboard has all the details and will be updated again next Tuesday, June 14.

Vaccination Booking Reminders

  • Getting vaccinated with three doses of COVID-19 provides good protection against symptoms and very good protection against serious disease requiring hospitalization. All people 60 and older are encouraged to get a fourth dose of the vaccine to give added protection. This is the age-group that has higher rates of hospitalization and death because of underlying health conditions that make it a challenge to cope with COVID-19 infection.
  • A list of upcoming clinics is available on our website. Walk ins may be available at clinics based on clinic capacity. Call 1-844-369-1234 or book online.
  • Also continue to check with a participating pharmacy or your health care provider.

Upcoming Information

  • We are hoping to have more information on the following areas in the next few weeks
    • vaccines for those under 5 years
    • expansion of eligibility for booster doses for other ages
    • new formulations of the vaccine and new vaccines, such as Medicago.

Who is Eligible for a Vaccine

  • Anyone 5+ is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario.
  • Second doses are recommended at 8 weeks after the first dose for optimal protection. You can choose a shorter interval with informed consent.
  • Anyone 12+ is now eligible for a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
    • All youth ages 12-17 are now eligible for a booster dose 6 months (168 days) after their second dose
    • Adults (age 18+) are eligible for a booster dose 3 months (84 days) after their second dose
    • See the Boosters tab below for information on who is eligible for fourth doses

First Boosters (Third Doses or Fourth Doses if immunocompromised)

Based on recommendations from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunizations, Ontario is now recommending third doses of COVID-19 vaccine for all Ontarians 18 and older at an interval of 84 days from their second dose, and for youth ages 12-17 at an interval of 6 months (168 days) from their second dose. Third doses can be either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or Novovax if mRNA is not an option. These third doses are strongly recommended for continued protection against severe disease/hospitalization.

Second Boosters (Fourth Doses or Fifth doses if immunocompromised)

The following groups are eligible for a second booster:

  • Adults age 60+ – as of April 7, 2022 *Note: must be 60 years old on day vaccine is administered
  • Indigenous people and their adult household members – as of April 7, 2022
  • Residents of high-risk congregate settings like long-term care and retirement homes
  • Immune-suppressed individuals (see tab below for more details on eligibility criteria)

Second boosters are recommended at 5 months after third doses, but can be given as early as 3 months after the third dose for those at higher risk or who feel they will benefit from the protection sooner. Talk to your health care provider to help you make the best decision.

If you are eligible for a third or fourth dose of COVID-19 Vaccine in Ontario, you can book an appointment or walk-in (as clinic capacity allows) to any of our clinics to receive it, check with your health care provider or a participating pharmacy.

Boosters are part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccines are up to date. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).

People with moderate to severe immunosuppression are recommended to have a 3 dose primary vaccine series, plus booster(s) (boosters only for those age 12+) for optimal immune response. Immunosuppressed individuals can access their third, fourth or fifth dose through their health care provider. The recommended timing for ages 18+ is 56 days between dose 2 and 3, three months (84 days) between dose 3 and first booster (dose 4), and five months (140 days) after their first and second booster dose, or at a minimum interval of three months (84 days).

Youth ages 12–17 – booster/fourth doses for immunosupressed should be given 6 months/168 days after the third dose. If unable to access it from a health care provider, the Health Unit can provide it at a clinic. You can also check with a pharmacy to see if they can provide it. Here is the list of those eligible due to immunosuppression:

  • Individuals receiving dialysis (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis)
  • Individuals receiving active treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy) for solid tumour or hematologic malignancies.
  • Recipients of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Recipients of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy).
  • Individuals with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Individuals with stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • Individuals receiving active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies: anti-B cell therapies2 (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22), high-dose systemic corticosteroids (refer to the CIG for suggested definition of high dose steroids), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive.

Note: The province is recommending re-vaccination with a new COVID-19 vaccine primary series post-transplantation for individuals who receive hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) (autologous or allogeneic), and recipients of CAR-T-cell therapy, due to the loss of immunity following therapy or transplant. Contact your health care provider about getting the vaccine if you fit into one of these groups.

For further details, including more detailed lists of immunosuppressive medications, see pages 8–12 of this document from the Ministry of Health on COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations.

Canada is currently looking at safety and efficacy data to determine which products should be approved for children under 5 years old. As more information is released, and if anything is approved we will provide updates on this. In the meantime encouraging those around them to be fully vaccinated with all necessary boosters as well as them following other measures such as distancing, masks and avoiding being around them when sick can certainly help to protect them.

Health Canada has approved the Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) for children ages 5–11.

Benefits of getting the COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

  • The COVID-19 vaccine protects children from becoming sick with COVID-19, and particularly from becoming so sick that they need to be hospitalized. While fortunately not very common, some children have died from the COVID-19 infection.
    • The risk of myocarditis or pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or the sac around the heart) is much higher from a COVID-19 infection than it is from the vaccine.
    • We are still learning about ‘Long-COVID’, but early studies show 1 to 4 out of every 100 children with a COVID-19 infection had lasting symptoms. Children can get ‘Long-COVID’ even after a mild illness.
  • Children who are vaccinated against COVID-19 help to protect other, more vulnerable people in their lives, like babies, and grandparents – making family gatherings less risky for everyone involved.
  • Children getting vaccinated will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among others in the classroom, sports team, or other activities.

Health Canada did a thorough and independent review for safety, efficacy and quality for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children. Here is Health Canada’s Regulatory Decision Summary ages 5-11 for the Pfizer/Comirnaty vaccine.

Here is the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) statement on COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11.

How to Prepare your Child for getting Vaccinated

Kids are pros at getting vaccinated. They have been doing it since 2 months of age – and several times over. Our clinic staff also have a lot of experience vaccinating children in this age group. Parents know their children best and can decide how to approach the preparation based on the child’s age and personality, but most children benefit from clear, age-appropriate communication. Here are some ideas that can help:

Ages 5 to 7:

  • Give a brief step-by-step description of what to expect.
  • Rely on the power of play. Little kids process their emotions through play, so send some stuffed animals or dolls to the “doctor” or “nurse” for their vaccines before it’s time for the kids to go!
  • Keep their hands busy and their minds occupied to work through their anticipatory anxiety.
  • Apply ice to the injection site before and after the shot.
  • Encourage them to have a light snack before the appointment.

Ages 8 to 11:

  • Kids in this age group might have more detailed questions. Give honest answers and seek additional information if you aren’t sure how to answer. Empathize with them and listen to their concerns.
  • Empower your big kids to write a list of questions to ask the nurse or doctor at the appointment to ease their worries.
  • Have your child create a playlist to listen to during the appointment.
  • Plan to watch an interesting video (cue it up so you don’t have to search!) or use a favourite app.
  • Encourage them to have a light snack before the appointment.
  • CHEO also has a Kids Come First special clinic for children with special needs who can’t attend a community clinic.

Needle fear is not uncommon for children. See these tips on additional ways to ease children’s anxiety around vaccination:

  • Plan ahead and be honest. Use neutral language and give age-appropriate information.
  • Use numbing cream. This is usually applied 30-60 minutes before the needle so can be done at home before coming. It should be applied in the upper arm over the deltoid muscle where the injection will be. Have child in an upright, relaxed and supported position (could be on parent’s lap – facing forward, inward or sideways).
  • Use distraction! Focus on something fun, engaging and interactive during vaccination. This can be as simple as blowing on a pinwheel, watching a short video or counting lines on the floor.
  • Talk about what went well afterwards. This focus on the positive will help to prepare for the second dose as well as future vaccinations.
  • Let staff know upon arrival if your child tends to faint as they can prepare for this.

Check out this handout from Immunize Canada: Needles Don’t Have to Hurt

Here is the list of ALL clinic locations, dates and times and a link and phone line for booking.

Second doses are recommended 8 weeks after the first dose. You can book the second dose appointment on-site after your child receives their first dose. It is advised that you stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations for the best protection.

Booster doses are not approved for children age 5-11. Children age 5-11 who are immunosuppressed would get a third dose as part of their initial series 8 weeks after the second dose.  

Information Sheets and Consent Forms:

Check out this vaccine clinic tour video from our summer clinics for a sneak peak at what to expect!

What to bring to the appointment:

  • Child’s health card/OHIP card (even if it’s expired). If no health card is available – bring another form of ID like a birth certificate if possible.
  • Immunization record (if available)
  • Something to distract and pass the time (headphones with music, electronics, book, favourite stuffy or fidget toy)
  • Small peanut-free snack for after
  • Mask that covers the mouth, nose and chin
  • Child should wear a loose fitting or short sleeved top with easy access to the upper arm
  • A parent or guardian (parental or guardian consent is required)

We won’t force a child to be vaccinated. Public Health Nurses are experienced and skilled at giving children vaccinations. If a child is strongly opposed, the parent may need to bring them back another time to try again or make an appointment with their Health Care Provider.

Children will receive the appropriate dose for their age at the time of vaccination. Children 5-11 will receive a child dose.

Children with a history of anaphylaxis (severe allergic responses) to non-vaccine ingredients, like foods or latex, can receive the vaccine, but they would be monitored for a longer period on-site after receiving it.

If you have other questions call us at 1-844-369-1234, or talk to your health care provider. For more information or if you have questions:

Both Moderna (SpikeVax) and Pfizer (Comirnaty) are authorized for youth ages 12–17. Ontario recommends using Pfizer/Comirnaty for young people up to age 29.

All youth ages 12-17 are now eligible for a booster dose 6 months (168 days) after their second dose.

  • Check out this vaccine clinic tour video to see what to expect.
  • Most youth ages 12–17 are able to give their own consent to receive the vaccine, but are welcome to bring a parent/guardian or other support person to accompany them for their appointment. *Note: parental consent is required if the vaccine is administered in a school setting or if the youth does not have capacity to make the decision

Needle fear is not uncommon for youth. Clear, age-appropriate communication about why it’s needed and what to expect at the clinic can be helpful. See these tips on additional ways to ease children’s anxiety around vaccination:

  • Plan ahead and be honest. Use neutral language and give age-appropriate information.
  • Use numbing cream. Use numbing cream. This is usually applied 30–60 minutes before the needle so can be done at home before coming. It should be applied in the upper arm over the deltoid muscle where the injection will be.
  • Use distraction! Focus on something fun, engaging and interactive during vaccination.
  • Talk about what went well afterwards. This focus on the positive will help to prepare for the second dose as well as future vaccinations.
  • If your child has not received both doses yet – you can book at any of our clinics, ask your health care provider or check a local participating pharmacy. Here is the list of ALL clinic locations, dates and times.

Youth will receive the appropriate dose for their age at the time of vaccination. Youth 12 years old and above will receive an adult dose (even if their initial series was the pediatric dose).

This past year has been tough. #KnowWhereToGo for help: A comprehensive listing of mental health resources for youth.

If you have other questions call us at 1-844-369-1234, or talk to your health care provider. For more information or questions also see the links below:

How to Get a Vaccine

For boosters, please ensure you are eligible based on the criteria above and timing (minimum of 84 days from second dose for adults/168 days for youth) before booking or attending a vaccine clinic. Those who are not eligible will be turned away.

Booked Appointments

  • Use the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark online booking portal *Note – Leeds, Grenville and Lanark clinics are not in the Provincial booking system.
  • Please use a different email for each person you are booking as using the same email for multiple people can cause problems in the system. If you have trouble or are unable to do this call the Vaccine Call Centre at the number below.
  • If you are unable to book on the portal – you can call our local Vaccine Call Centre at 1-844-369-1234 Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm.

Walk-in Appointments

Pharmacy

  • Check for a participating pharmacy near you. Pharmacies may have either Pfizer or Moderna and can provide first, second or third doses to those eligible.
  • Pharmacies are working with the Province to continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the community. These vaccinations are separate from our Health Unit’s vaccination roll-out. Please call the pharmacy directly to book.

Health Care Providers

  • Check directly with your doctor or nurse practitioner to see if they can offer COVID-19 vaccines (including boosters).
  • Appointments can be cancelled by clicking the cancellation link in the confirmation email you received when booking your appointment. If you need assistance in cancelling your appointment, please call our call centre at 1-844-369-1234 (open Monday to Friday from 8:30am–4:00pm).
  • Please be sure to CANCEL any appointments you no longer need.

Health Unit clinics use mRNA vaccines – either Pfizer or Moderna for people aged 12+ depending on age and availability of the vaccine. While both Moderna/Spikevax and Pfizer/Comirnaty are approved for ages 12+, Ontario recommends Pfizer for age 12 to 29.  Pfizer/Cominarty is approved for ages 5–11, while Moderna/Spikevax is now approved for ages 6–11. However, Ontario recommends the preference of Pfizer over Moderna for this age group as well. The mRNA vaccines are interchangeable – regardless of what you received for your first and second doses.

The Novavax Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine was recently approved for use in Canada for adults age 18 and older. It is a two dose vaccine that uses a manufactured spike protein combined with an adjunct to amplify your immune system response. It provides good protection against COVID-19 and can be used in cases where the mRNA vaccines are contraindicated. *NEW* As of July 4th, all Health Unit clinics will have a small supply of Novavax vaccine for those who are unable or unwilling to get the mRNA vaccines. You can book an appointment to receive Novavax (for your primary series or a booster dose if eligible) at any of our clinics either by phone at 1-844-369-1234 or by using the Pomelo online booking portal, or via walk-in as capacity allows.

Canadian made Medicago Covifenz is a plant based COVID-19 vaccine that has also been recently approved by Health Canada for use by adults age 18–64. It is also a two dose vaccine with a minimum 21 day interval. Guidelines for use of this vaccine have not been made yet by NACI. This vaccine is expected to arrive for use by summer of 2022. For more information on its ingredients and effectiveness – see the Health Canada page about Medicago Covifenz.  

The Health Unit no longer has a supply of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Ask friends or if they have had their vaccine or booked an appointment. Please consider helping these individuals to book their appointments, as some may not have online access or be comfortable booking online appointments.

For those who are not mobile, the Health Unit, in partnership with the Lanark County Paramedic Service and the Leeds and Grenville Emergency Medical Services can arrange for in home COVID-19 vaccine administration. If you are not mobile and need a referral to this community paramedicine program, you can contact your case manager, health care provider or the Health Unit (1-800-660-5853).

For those who are mobile – but need assistance with transportation, community partners are offering safe, non-shared, transportation to and from vaccine appointments. Fees are based on distance traveled and subsidies may be available if needed.

Leeds and Grenville

New! Public transit service to popular employment areas from Brockville to Cardinal along County Road 2. 
Run times: 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday
Areas Served: Brockville, Augusta, Prescott and Edwardsburgh Cardinal
Tickets: Can be purchased ahead of time or when boarding the bus (exact change only). One way $5, Book of 10 tickets $20.
For further details and to see where to purchase tickets go to https://riverroute.ca/tickets/

For Leeds/Grenville: call United Way of Leeds & Grenville at 613-342-8889 or email [email protected]

Lanark County and Smiths Falls

For Lanark County and Smiths Falls – see the options below:

Lanark County Transportation Services to COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

*Please note:

  • only members of the same household will be transported together in a vehicle
  • hours of operation may be adjusted depending on vaccine clinic hours

Lanark Transportation Association
Contact: 1-877-445-5777 or 613-264-8256
Criteria: No restrictions, Wheelchair accessible vehicles
Areas Served: Lanark County, Town of Smiths Falls, Neighbouring municipalities when accessible transportation is required.
Hours of Operation: 6:00am–6:00pm, 7 days a week
Price: $10.00–$15.00, Subsidy may be available upon request.

Carebridge
Contact: Lisa Ryan, 613-256-1031 extension 262
Criteria: Seniors and Disabled persons able to get in and out of a vehicle, Wheelchair transport available.
Areas Served: Almonte, Carleton Place
Hours of Operation: 8:00am–4:00pm, Monday to Friday
Price: $8.00–$20.00, Wheelchair transport $30.00–$45.00, Subsidy may be available upon request.

Community Home Support Lanark County
Contact: 613-267-6400
Criteria: Seniors and disabled adults requiring minimal assistance (cane, walker, etc.,) and able to get in and out of a vehicle, No wheelchairs, Services may change as vaccine rollout moves forward.
Areas Served: Perth, Smiths Falls, Lanark, Carleton Place
Hours of Operation: 8:30am–4:00pm, 7 days a week
Price: $10.00–$54.00, Subsidy may be available upon request.

Proof of Vaccinations

As of March 1, 2022, the Government of Ontario does not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in any public settings. A business/organization can voluntarily choose to require proof of vaccination. If you do, ensure you are following all relevant legislation. You may wish to receive legal advice prior to implementing a voluntary proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Boosters are an important part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date and the boosters will help to provide better protection from transmission. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).

The Health Unit is offering an online portal to submit documentation for COVID-19 vaccines to be updated into the Provincial system.

Who Does This Apply To

  • You can document individual COVID-19 vaccines or a full series received outside of Ontario through this online portal.
  • Some people vaccinated in Ontario received vaccine from what is referred to as non-Ontario stock. Generally these doses were delivered at institutions such as correctional facilities, military sites or embassies. People who received one or two doses of vaccine from the non-Ontario stock may also document them through this online portal.

What Do I Need To Complete This Process

  • You will be required to submit proof of vaccination. If you do not have proof of vaccination, please contact the health care provider who gave you the COVID-19 vaccine(s) to receive a copy of your vaccination record.
  • You will also be required to provide a phone number and/or email address where we can reach you to inform you that your records have been documented in the Provincial system.

Can I still mail or drop off my proof of vaccination?

  • Alternatively, you can send the following information to the Health Unit by mail, or drop it off in the mail slot at any Health Unit office location (locations listed at bottom of linked webpage):
    • A copy of your vaccine receipt/ proof of vaccination (must be legible)
      AND
    • Your full name as per your Health Card, Health Card number, Date of birth, Full address, Phone number, Email address (if you have one) and Gender.
    • A completed copy of the Consent Form. If the consent form is not received we will contact you to obtain verbal consent.
    • All the above information is needed in order to enter this into the provincial system.
      Mail to: The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
      Attention: Vaccine Team
      458 Laurier Boulevard
      Brockville, Ontario K6V 7A3

Looking for your “Proof of Vaccine”? If you provided an email address when you received your vaccine, your vaccination receipt (proof of vaccine) is emailed to you. Check your spam or junk folder if you do not see it. You can also access a digital copy by logging in with your Ontario Health Card at this website.

What if a person has a red or white health card or does not have health card? If a person has a red and white health card, they can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. The call centre agent can email you a copy of your receipt.

No health card at all or still having trouble accessing your receipt of vaccine? Call our local Vaccine Call Centre at 1-844-369-1234 Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. If you need help with printing – you can also ask your local public library.

For more information on providing Proof of Vaccination in certain indoor public settings – check out the tab above.

Other Vaccine Issues

Please read the information sheet and consent form prior to your appointment. If you are able to, print off and bring your completed COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Consent Form to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. It’s also helpful to bring your email booking confirmation to your appointment (printed version or on your phone).

You can use your Ontario Proof of Vaccination document to demonstrate your vaccination status anywhere that requires it. If you are planning an international trip, be sure to check the latest testing and vaccination requirements to re-enter Canada. Travellers with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are currently exempt from quarantine and testing requirements when entering Canada. Children under 12 years old who are unvaccinated and exempt from quarantine (e.g. travelled with vaccinated companions) need to mask for 14 days after arriving in Canada.

For more information about federal requirements for international travel, including the mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app and testing requirements for re-entry into Canada – see the Government of Canada website.

Check to see what the vaccine requirements are for your International travel including your destination. Boosters are part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccines are up to date. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).

Regardless of vaccination status, those who travel should practice personal public health measures while away and upon their return.

  • This includes wearing a mask or face-covering, physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and staying outdoors as much as possible in order to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Travellers should stay informed about the COVID-19 situation at their destination and follow all local COVID-19 restrictions.
  • If any traveller is symptomatic upon return, even with mild symptoms, get tested and stay at home.

Have you attended a Health Unit COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic? Visit our Feedback and Complaints page to share your feedback with us!

Boosters are part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccines are up to date. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).

What we know for fully vaccinated people:

  • To be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ you should have received your initial series and any recommended boosters. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).
  • You may still be exposed to the COVID-19 virus depending on the level of spread in the community and close contact with others. Having the recommended boosters will provide better protection against transmission, serious illness and hospitalization.
  • While 2 doses worked well against earlier strains, variants such as omicron and other emerging variants are more transmissible so having the recommended boosters will provide better protection against serious illness and hospitalization.
  • People who are immune compromised may not have the same level of protection as others.
  • You may still transmit the virus to others before your immune system removes the virus but the risk is lower.
  • You are not required to quarantine after returning to Canada, if the vaccine you received is one approved in Canada, and you have fulfilled the other Federal requirements for re-entry. You still need to wear a mask for 14 days in all public places indoors and outdoors even when exempt from quarantine.
  • You are only required to isolate for 5 days (instead of 10 days) if you experience COVID-19 symptoms or live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive but still need to wear a mask for days 6-10 in public places and avoid vulnerable people and settings during this time.
  • If you are a high risk contact with no symptoms but are up to date on your vaccinations you may not need to isolate due to the protection from the vaccine but would still need to wear a mask in public places and avoid vulnerable people and settings during the 10 days you are monitoring for symptoms after your exposure.
  • See our information on our social gatherings and holidays page to see when and what measures you can put in place to protect the vulnerable people around you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Watch this video of Local Medical Officers of Health and Physicians Answering Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet

There are 4 great reasons to get vaccinated:

  1. To avoid getting seriously ill with a potentially deadly disease. (reasoning-can still get sick but vaccine prevents serious illness)
  2. To protect all the vulnerable people in your life.
  3. To help end this pandemic. The vaccine adds an incredibly important layer of protection against COVID-19 and will be the main reason we return to some sense of normalcy.
  4. If you are fully vaccinated (14 days past your second dose) and exposed to someone with COVID-19 – you only need to isolate until you receive a negative PCR test result instead of for the full 10 days after exposure.

We are still learning about the long term effects of this novel (new) virus. For some people, symptoms can last for months. The virus can even damage the heart, brain, lungs and increase the risk of long-term health problems. Even young, healthy people can feel unwell for weeks to months following the COVID-19 infection.

The mild short-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are far less than the risk and potential long-term health damages caused by the COVID-19 virus.

Why do I need multiple doses?

The first dose builds protection from the virus but may provide less protection against some strains and may not last long. People have been re-infected with COVID-19 3-6 months after first infection, and the first vaccine may be similar to this. The second dose builds your immunity higher for a longer time and boosters bring your immunity level back up and it may start to drop after an extended period of time. Boosters are part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccines are up to date. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).

What are the intervals between doses?

Ontario has recommended 8 weeks between first and second doses. The minimum intervals between dose 1 and 2 are 21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna (based on the vaccine that was received first). Waiting longer between dose 1 and 2 will provide a stronger immune response. People can discuss the interval with their healthcare provider or the immunizer on-site about the risks and benefits of the timing.

The third dose booster dose for eligible people must be at least 84 days after your second dose.

People whose immune systems are suppressed should receive 3 doses of vaccine to help them mount an initial immune response. For this specific population, the recommended timing is 56 days between dose 2 and 3. A booster dose at 84 days between dose 3 and 4 will provide additional protection.

Based on recommendations from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunizations, Ontario is now recommending third doses of COVID-19 vaccine for all Ontarians 18 and older at an interval of 84 days from their second dose, and for youth ages 12-17 at an interval of 6 months (168 days) from their second dose. Third doses can be either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). These third doses are recommended for continued protection against severe disease/hospitalization.

Ontario has also recommended fourth doses (at least 84 days after the third dose) for those who are most vulnerable (those living in congregate settings and people with moderate to severe immunosuppression).

Boosters are part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccines are up to date. See the new guidance on staying up to date (fully vaccinated).

Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations

No. Please stay home if you are unwell, or if anyone in your home is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive. It’s important to be well at your vaccination appointment – both to prevent spreading any illness to others while there – and to ensure your immune system is ready to receive the vaccine. If you had an appointment booked – please cancel it using the link in your confirmation email or by filling in this online cancellation form.

Here are the recent NACI guidelines on when to receive your vaccine after a COVID-19 infection. *Note* this only applies if your COVID-19 infection was confirmed by a test (either PCR or RAT) or if you had a known exposure to a household member who tested positive and you had symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

  • If you get a COVID-19 infection prior to completing your first 2 doses – the recommendation is to wait 8 weeks from the date your symptoms began or you tested positive (whichever occurred first) before receiving your vaccine (either dose 1 or 2).
  • If you get a COVID-19 infection after you have received 2 doses but before your booster – it is recommended to wait 3 months from the date your symptoms began or you tested positive (whichever occurred first) before receiving your booster.

Waiting to get a vaccine dose after you have a confirmed or probable COVID-19 infection will give a period of time for the immune reaction from the infection to subside, before activating it again with the vaccine. This will give a stronger immune response to the vaccine These are recommendations only and you can still choose to receive your vaccine when eligible as long as you are at least 10 days from your start of symptoms or positive test result and are feeling well at the time of vaccination.  

Here are the recent NACI guidelines on when to receive your vaccine after a COVID-19 infection. *Note* this only applies if your COVID-19 infection was confirmed by a test (either PCR or RAT) or if you had a known exposure to a household member who tested positive and you had symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

  • If you get a COVID-19 infection prior to completing your first 2 doses – the recommendation is to wait 8 weeks from the date your symptoms began or you tested positive (whichever occurred first) before receiving your vaccine (either dose 1 or 2).
  • If you get a COVID-19 infection after you have received 2 doses but before your booster – it is recommended to wait 3 months from the date your symptoms began or you tested positive (whichever occurred first) before receiving your booster.

Waiting to get a vaccine dose after you have a confirmed or probable COVID-19 infection will give a period of time for the immune reaction from the infection to subside, before activating it again with the vaccine. This will give a stronger immune response to the vaccine These are recommendations only and you can still choose to receive your vaccine when eligible as long as you are at least 10 days from your start of symptoms or positive test result and are feeling well at the time of vaccination.  

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are messenger-RNA vaccines, also called mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. While this technology is new to vaccines it has been used for many years in Cancer treatment. The mRNA teaches our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that can then trigger an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response produces antibodies that protect us from getting infected if the real virus ever enters our bodies.

This mRNA has no ability to enter our cell’s nucleus (where our DNA is stored) – so there is no danger of it altering our DNA. There is also NO danger of us getting COVID-19 from the vaccine since it is only the code to build a tiny piece of the virus – not the whole thing.

Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain any live COVID-19 virus. They either use mRNA (instructions to build one specific piece of the virus) or bits of inactive, degraded virus that are not capable of causing a COVID-19 infection.

Creating a new vaccine can take years. However, the development of vaccines for COVID-19 progressed quickly for many reasons, including:

  • advances in science and technology
  • international collaboration among scientists, health professionals, researchers, industry and governments
  • increased dedicated funding
  • access to large samples of people who could participate in the studies.

Vaccines that are approved for use in Canada are only those that are proven safe, effective, and of high quality. The reason that the COVID-19 vaccines were approved quickly is not because safety standards were changed, it’s because Health Canada shortened the administrative and organizational process of vaccine authorization through much quicker meetings between different steps, as well as parallel steps all at the same time. So, for example, instead of waiting a month between different steps, they waited a day or days between the different steps. The safety requirements in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines were just as strict as the regular process for any other vaccine.

Mixing vaccines is also safe and effective see the NACI guidance on mixing vaccines

What this means in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark?

  • About 13,000 residents received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from March to early May. This vaccine was available to people and provided protection when the supply of Pfizer and Moderna was reduced.
  • The supply of vaccine has changed so the more effective mRNA vaccines with reduced side effects are being recommended and administered at this time unless in rare cases they are contraindicated.

The immunizer should be wearing eye protection and a medical grade mask. The person receiving the immunization should be wearing a mask (can be non-medical/cloth).

Gloves are not usually recommended for this, but may be worn in some situations by the person giving the immunization, for instance if they have any broken skin, or if their workplace policy requires it (like paramedics, who have a policy that goes beyond this measure as generally they work in less predictable circumstances).

For more detailed information:

If you are allergic to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get it. However, most of the ingredients are not associated with severe allergic reactions. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain eggs, gelatin, preservatives or antibiotics.

People with allergies to the following vaccine ingredients should not take this vaccine.

  • Polyethylene glycol—or PEG. This is found in bowel preparations for colonoscopies, some laxatives, over-the-counter cough syrups, cosmetics, skin care products, and some food and drinks. An allergy to this is rare and most people are aware if they are allergic to it.
  • Polysorbate – due to potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity with the vaccine ingredient PEG.

If you are unsure of the ingredients you are allergic to or you have had a reaction to a vaccine in the past, talk to your health care provider.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech – approved on December 9, 2020
  • Moderna – approved on December 23, 2020
  • People with allergic reactions to other vaccines and medicines can, in fact, get the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, only those individuals with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine itself, or its container, are not advised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because of the potential for allergic reactions. That would probably amount to a very small number of people. If you have concerns consult your family physician prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • People with a history of anaphylaxis (severe allergic responses) to non-vaccine ingredients, like foods or latex, can receive the vaccine, but they would be monitored for a longer period on-site after receiving it.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility, and no plausible biologic mechanism for it to do so either. Thousands of people have gone on to have healthy post-vaccine pregnancies. There are studies that show that the vaccine does not affect ovarian function, egg quality, embryo implantation or sperm count/quality.

Additional resources:

All pregnant individuals in the authorized age group are eligible and recommended to be vaccinated as soon as possible, at any stage in pregnancy, as COVID-19 infection during pregnancy can be severe, and the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. Vaccination may be considered at any gestational age, including the first trimester.

Pregnancy is a known risk factor for COVID-19 associated morbidity, with data consistently illustrating that pregnant individuals are at increased risk for hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death compared to non-pregnant individuals. For many pregnant individuals in Canada, the risk of being unvaccinated and susceptible to COVID-19 is substantial.

Although pregnant people were not purposely included in the initial trials of the COVID-19 vaccines, many became pregnant during the trials and thousands have received the vaccine during pregnancy since then. The vaccine is safe for any stage of pregnancy. While the vaccine components do not cross the placenta or into breast milk – the antibodies that the immune system makes do and can give the baby some passive immunity to COVID-19. Experts recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine at any stage of pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Here is the statement from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.

Here are some additional resources:

Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. Most of the side effects that followed vaccine administration in clinical trials were mild or moderate. They included pain at the injection site, body chills, and feeling tired and feeling feverish. Many of these are indications that your body’s immune system is doing its job by creating antibodies to prepare for fighting the virus if it enters your body in the future. These are common side effects of vaccines and do not pose a risk to health.

As with all vaccines, there’s a chance that there will be a serious side effect such as an allergic reaction, but these are rare. Report any unusual symptoms after receiving the vaccine to your health care provider. Unusual symptoms may include:

  • A high fever (greater than 40°C).
  • An allergic reaction (rash, hives, itching, throat swelling, difficulty swallowing/breathing).
  • Severe vomiting, diarrhea and/or headache.
  • Reactions that are severe or require visit to a doctor or hospitalization.
  • Reactions that do not go away after a few days.

There is a very rare risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle and/or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart) following immunization with an mRNA vaccine. Research to date has found that most cases are mild and resolve on their own or can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms, which may include chest pain, shortness of breath, or the feeling of a fast, pounding or fluttering heartbeat. Cases typically occur within a week after the receipt of an mRNA vaccine dose, more commonly after a second dose. Any potential cases should be investigated with medical assessment regardless of timing from vaccination to onset.

If a person develops an adverse reaction to a vaccine, what should they do?

People who receive the vaccine are monitored for at least 15 minutes on-site for adverse reactions. If you have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines or other things like food or latex, you will be monitored for a longer period of time.

If you have any unusual symptoms after the vaccine – please report them directly to your health care provider. Health care providers are going to report these to Public Health so they can be tracked by Health Canada and the vaccine manufacturers, and potentially used to adjust any guidance.

Managing Health Care Workers with Symptoms within 48 Hours of Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

Yes. Getting the vaccination will enhance any current level of immunity you may have from experiencing the illness. We don’t currently know how long natural immunity lasts, so making your immune response more reliable by getting vaccinated is a good thing. Currently guidelines say you can receive the vaccine as soon as you are done isolation and are no longer infectious, when symptoms have cleared.

For reliable information on vaccines and to answer more of your questions see the following sites:

  • Science Up First share the best available science in creative ways to stop the spread of misinformation. 
  • COVID-19 Vaccines – Government of Canada has information on the vaccine including how it was approved, how it works, what is in it, and the different types of vaccines that are approved in Canada.
  • Contact this consultation service from Sick Kids to book a phone appointment to talk to a health care professional to answer your questions about the vaccine in a safe, judgment-free way. They can provide the facts you need to help you to make an informed decision.

General Information About COVID-19

COVID-19: COVID-19 is a unique strain of a large family of viruses (coronaviruses) that can cause respiratory diseases. There is a vaccine but it does take time for all doses and boosters to be available to everyone as they become eligible in the community. Check here regularly for updates on the vaccine.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can take up to 10 days to develop after exposure to the virus. Most people infected with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, such as low-grade fever and cough. Some people develop more severe symptoms, such as high-grade fever, breathing difficulties or shortness of breath. These symptoms are similar to those of influenza and other coronaviruses, and it is difficult to differentiate COVID-19 from other viruses based on symptoms alone. Call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency department if you are experiencing severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, feeling confused or unsure of where you are or losing consciousness.

Long-COVID

Some people continue to experience symptoms of COVID-19 for weeks or months after their initial recovery. This can be termed Post COVID-19 Condition or Long-COVID. Post COVID-19 condition is not COVID-19. Symptoms can be quite different from those during the initial infection. It refers to the longer-term effects some people experience after their COVID-19 illness.

While many symptoms have been identified for Long-COVID, the most common include fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. For some, the symptoms last for four to five weeks after the initial symptoms. For others the symptoms continue for 12 weeks for more.

Being up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccine decreases the risk of developing Long-COVID.

Here is a short video from the World Health Organization on Long-COVID: WHO’s Science in 5 on COVID-19: Post COVID-19 condition – 30 July 2021 – YouTube

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of Long-COVID – contact your primary care provider directly. You can use the links below to learn more about how this condition is being assessed, diagnosed and managed.

COVID-19, like other coronaviruses, causes infection in the nose, throat, and lungs, and also affects other organs/ systems in the body (e.g., brain, heart) and can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets created when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks. The droplets vary in size with large droplets that fall to the ground rapidly (within seconds or minutes, and within 2 metres) near the infected person, and smaller droplets, sometimes called aerosols, which linger in the air under some environmental circumstances, such as in a confined space with recirculated air. COVID-19 is primarily transmitted when people are in close contact with others who are infected by the virus (either with or without symptoms).

COVID-19 may be spread through touching hands or surfaces that have been contaminated by droplets from an infected person, e.g. through coughing or sneezing, and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth but this is less common.

COVID-19 has an incubation period of up to 10 days. While symptoms usually develop in the first few days, it can take up to up to 10 days from the time you were exposed to the virus before you get symptoms of the disease. You become infectious, and can spread the virus to others, from about two days before symptoms develop until 10 days after symptoms start for people with mild to moderate symptoms. That is why it is important for all of us to practice a variety of protective measures including vaccination, staying home when sick, opening windows/going outdoors, wearing masks and distancing in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. See the Health Canada website for more information on how COVID-19 spreads.

COVID-19 Variants of Concern

There have been a number of variants of concern identified throughout the pandemic and others may continue to be identified. The government continues to monitor for variants and effectiveness of vaccinations and other measures to determine what guidance is needed. Currently vaccinations and other protective measures are still effective at protecting against the current variants that are circulating.

See the national definitions and classifications of COVID-19 variants.

You can get the latest local information from the Local Cases & Statistics section at right. We do not provide details about the positive cases as we have an obligation to protect the identity of individuals. As our communities within Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are relatively small, providing further details may put an individual’s identity at risk. See the Contact Tracing section for more information on what to do if you are exposed to someone who is experiencing symptoms or has tested positive.

Visit the Public Health Canada website for more detailed information on COVID-19 in general.

See our social gatherings section for information on how to protect yourself and your family.

For more detailed information about stopping the spread of germs visit our Infectious Diseases section.

Flu virus is still circulating in the community. Consider making the flu shot part of your routine in the fall.

There are things you can do to prepare in case you or someone in your house becomes ill and are asked to self-isolate at home until the infection clears, or if you have close contact exposure with someone who has the COVID-19 infection.

  • Stock up on non-perishable foods gradually over the next few weeks.
  • Follow these tips for Personal Preparedness during Emergencies.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. Be prepared for two weeks should you become ill or are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 infection and have to self-isolate at home.
  • Fill prescriptions for an extra month if you’re able.
    • Get refills with enough notice so that you do not run out of medication you may need.
    • Have over-the-counter pain/fever medications on hand.
  • Make plans for your children or other dependents in case you may be sick.
  • Stock up on supplies for your pets.
  • Stock up on cleaning supplies.
  • Ensure you have adequate sanitary and hygiene supplies.
  • Call your friends and neighbours and make plans to check in on each other; being prepared to help others out if there is a need to self-isolate.

Staying at home is not always safe. If you or someone you know is in danger at home from domestic abuse, you can contact Interval House.

If you are concerned about the safety and/or well-being of a child or youth under the age of 18 in Leeds, Grenville or Lanark, please contact Family and Children’s Services of LLG at 1-855-667-2726.

There are currently no reports of COVID-19 spreading from packaging. It is best to practice good hand hygiene (washing and sanitizer) after handling any packaging and before handling food.

If getting food or other items delivered – practice physical distancing and use no-contact ways to pay if possible (e-transfer, tap, etc.).

Fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating as before: rinse under cold, safe, running water, rubbing with hands; using a scrub brush if it is a tougher skin.

To limit trips to the grocery store, buy produce with a longer shelf-life (carrots, potatoes, squash, melons, frozen fruits and veggies) and stock up on items that don’t need refrigeration (like dried grains and canned goods). 

Current research suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19, can live for several hours on hard surfaces, so laundry machines, countertops, and furniture need to be sanitized frequently.

Health Canada has created a list of disinfectants that are safe and effective against the virus.

Although laundry from sick people should be kept bagged and separate while in your home to prevent accidental handling, there is no need to wash or dry these items separately.

Using Shared Laundry Facilities Fact Sheet

Doctors’ offices and hospitals are still open, so please seek health care when needed. Some services (like prescription refills) might be done over the phone or virtually, so always call ahead to see what the policies and procedures are for your health care provider. General health care is important to stay healthy and be best able to fight an infection if it occurs.

The Role of Your Local Pharmacy and Your Health Care Provider

As an essential service, your local pharmacy and health care provider remains available with their professional staff there to support you and your medication needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some medications, including anti-viral treatments are now available. Anti-viral treatments are now available by prescription for free to people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of progressing to severe disease requiring hospitalization. See the Assessment and Testing page and the Anti-viral Treatment for COVID-19 tab for more information.

If you are not higher risk, COVID-19 can be managed at home in self-isolation with over-the-counter (OTC) medications that reduce fever and body aches. If you are ill, have gone for screening, screened positive and/or are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, congestion, headache), but require medication, please call your pharmacy and speak to them about options for obtaining your medication, such as getting someone from outside your household (who has not been in contact with you) to pick up your medication or arranging for delivery or curbside pickup. Please do NOT enter the pharmacy yourself. Seek medical attention or call 911 if needed (e.g. chest pain, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing). Ontario’s online self-assessment tool can be used to monitor symptoms.

Your pharmacist may also be able to help you if you are unable to attend an appointment with your prescriber and need refills of your medications, if you have questions about the supply status of your medications, if you need advice on minor ailments, if you need direction on where to go to use the province’s self-assessment tool or to find the latest information from Public Health on physical distancing, respiratory precautions, wearing a cotton mask when in public places, and regular cleaning of common hard surfaces.

Sources for Information

Government of Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: What you should know. Ottawa, ON: December 9, 2020.

Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine product Monograph. December 2020.

The Ontario Ministry of Health’s website for healthcare providers now includes COVID-19 vaccine guidance documents. Documents are currently available in English and French.