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COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 infections impact all ages, causing missed time at school and work. Some people may become seriously ill and may need to be hospitalized.

COVID-19 remains active in our area and getting vaccinated is a proven way to reduce your risk of getting infected or spreading COVID-19 to others.

  • Anyone 6 months and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario.
  • Anyone 5 years and older is eligible for a bivalent dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 6 months after they’ve completed their initial doses (primary series of 1–3 doses dependent on type of vaccine, age and whether or not they are immune compromised).
  • Only those with risk factors are recommended to receive an additional bivalent booster dose this spring.

You can book an appointment or attend as a walk-in (as clinic capacity allows) to any of our Health Unit community clinics to receive COVID-19 vaccination.

Your health care provider or pharmacy may also be offering immunizations.

The CDC provides this description of types of immunity

  • Natural immunity is acquired from exposure to the disease organism through infection with the actual disease.
  • Vaccine-induced immunity is acquired through the introduction of a killed or weakened form of the disease organism through vaccination.

    See this website for more information on this.

Immunity against the COVID-19 virus starts to decline after a few months, whether you been infected with COVID-19 or immunized for COVID-19 or both.

Current recommendations for adults are to wait 3–6 months after COVID-19 infection to receive a booster dose of COVID vaccine. Those with health conditions that make them more at risk for severe illness, are recommended to get a booster dose 3 months after COVID-19 infection.

Parents should consult with their primary care provider about timing of COVID vaccine for those children who have recently had COVID-19 and have not completed their initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

NACI – the National Advisory Council on Immunization provides the following guidance on COVID-19 vaccination. For the full text visit this website.

  • Anyone can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, some populations are at increased risk of exposure to the virus due to living or occupational settings and some populations are at increased risk of severe outcomes due to biological factors and/or social factors.
  • A complete series with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to children in the authorized age groups without contraindications to the vaccine, with a dosing interval of at least 8 weeks between the first and second dose. Refer to Recommendations for use, Children for more information.
  • A complete primary series with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be preferentially offered to individuals 12 years of age and older without contraindications to the vaccine. Refer to Recommendations for use, Adolescents and Adults for more information.
  • For individuals 5 years of age and older, who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, a primary series of 3 doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be offered. Refer to Vaccination of specific populations, Immunocompromised persons for more information.
  • Being “up to date” with COVID-19 vaccination means keeping up to date with available booster doses. All individuals 12+ should receive a booster dose 6 months after their last dose. Those with health conditions that put them at higher risk for severe outcomes of COVID-19, should receive a booster dose 3 months after their last dose. Recommendations for use, Booster doses for more information.
  • It is recommended that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to individuals 5 years of age and older with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection without contraindications to the vaccine. Refer to Individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 for more information.

All pregnant individuals 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.

  • COVID-19 vaccines do contain lipids (fats), salts, sugars and buffers.
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not contain eggs, gelatin (pork), gluten, latex, preservatives, antibiotics, or aluminum.
  • The vaccines are safe, even if you have food, drug, or environmental allergies.
  • Talk to a health care provider first before getting a vaccine if you have allergies to the following mRNA vaccine ingredients: polyethylene glycol (PEG), polysorbate 80 and/or tromethamine (trometamol or Tris).

    COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet (age 12+)

What to bring to the appointment:

  • Child’s health card (even if it’s expired). If no health card is available – bring another form of ID such as a birth certificate or passport.
  • A parent or guardian (parental or guardian consent is required)
  • Something to distract and pass the time (headphones with music, electronics, book, favourite stuffy or fidget toy)
  • Small peanut-free snack for after
  • Child should wear a loose fitting or short sleeved top with easy access to the upper arm
  • With colder weather, please remove their long-sleeved sweaters and jackets prior to approaching the immunizer

What can parents do to prepare their child?


  • Breastfeeding your baby before injection as well as during and after injections to reduce pain and provide comfort to the baby.
  • Holding baby skin-to-skin or closely against the chest can also provide comfort for infants.

Young children

  • Preparation helps. Offer an honest explanation about what will happen. It is best to prepare young children (under 4) just before the injection, whereas older children can be prepared the day before.
  • Describe how the vaccination will feel (like a pinch).
  • Practice with your child what they can do during the vaccination (e.g., breathe deeply, relax the arm).
  • During vaccination securely hold your child on your lap. Support their elbow to prevent a sudden arm movement.
  • Try distraction with toys, a book, music, singing, or telling a joke or story. Tell your child to take a deep breath and blow it out slowly.

If you choose to use numbing cream:

  • This is applied 30–60 minutes before the immunization so should be done at home before coming.
  • It needs to be applied in the upper arm over the deltoid muscle where the injection will be.
  • Science Up First shares the best available science in creative ways to stop the spread of misinformation

Older children

  • 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.

If you choose to use numbing cream:

  • This is applied 30–60 minutes before the immunization so should be done at home before coming.
  • It needs to be applied in the upper arm over the deltoid muscle where the injection will be.


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.

  • Plan ahead and be honest. Use neutral language and give age-appropriate information.
  • Use distraction! Focus on something fun, engaging and interactive during vaccination.
  • Let staff know upon arrival if your child tends to faint as they can prepare for this.
  • 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).
  • 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

If you choose to use numbing cream:

  • This is applied 30–60 minutes before the immunization so should be done at home before coming.
  • It needs to be applied in the upper arm over the deltoid muscle where the injection will be given.

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:

  • Talk about what went well afterwards. This focus on the positive will help to prepare for the second dose as well as future vaccinations.
  • People who receive the vaccine are monitored for at least 15 minutes on-site for adverse reactions. If you have a history of strong allergic reactions to other vaccines or food or latex, you will be monitored for a longer period of time.
  • Normal side effects after COVID-19 vaccination include pain and swelling where the vaccine was given, tiredness, muscle or joint soreness, headache or mild fever.
  • If you have any symptoms after the vaccine requiring medical attention, you may be having an adverse reaction.
  • If you have any of these symptoms within one week of receiving the vaccine: chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations (pounding or racing heart) or an abnormal heartbeat, these may be symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis, which are a very rare and treatable side effect from the vaccine. Go to see your primary care provider or your local emergency department to be assessed.

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 visit their website.

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.

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.

What if a person has an old Health Card (red and white health card)?

Call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. The call centre agent can email you a copy of your receipt.

What if you do not have an Ontario health card?

Call our local Vaccine Call Centre at 1-844-369-1234 Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. You will be guided through how to access your proof of vaccination.

As of March 1, 2022, the Government of Ontario does not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in any public settings. A business/organization/sports team may implement a requirement for proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Some travel destinations may also require proof.

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

What Do I Need to Complete This Process

  • You will be required to submit proof of vaccination(s)
  • You will also be required to provide a phone number and/or email address where we can reach you if we need additional information to verify your proof of vaccination.

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

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)
  • 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

Please be patient, at this time it is taking approximately 6 weeks for these to be updated into the system due to the number or requests we have received. We will work as quickly as possible to get your information uploaded.