#IGOTVACCINATED

COMMON 
QUESTIONS & MISCONCEPTIONS

LAST UPDATED: November 9 , 2021

 

Should I get vaccinated if I want to become pregnant, am currently pregnant, or am breastfeeding?


If you are worried about the impact of the COVID-19 on your fertility or pregnancy, we are here to help! We understand that if you are pregnant, you want to make the best decision for your health and the health of your baby. We hope the information outlined here can help you make an informed decision. There is a ton of misinformation spreading that the antibodies made by your body after the COVID-19 vaccine can attack the reproductive system or the placenta. These antibodies are made to attack the COVID-19 virus, should you become infected, and will not accidentally attack cells of your own reproductive system or placenta. In other words, your antibodies can tell the difference between the COVID-19 virus and reproductive/placental cells. There is no evidence to suggest that antibodies produced after receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccines can harm fertility and/or pregnancy outcomes. While the COVID-19 vaccine trials did not enroll pregnant or breastfeeding people, some participants did become pregnant through the course of the trial. While participants were asked to refrain from pregnancy, It was found that individuals in both the vaccinated group and the placebo group had similar rates of accidental pregnancies. This also suggests that the vaccine has no impact on fertility. Currently, there are multiple vaccination surveillance programs being used to monitor adverse outcomes in the thousands of pregnant people who have since gotten the vaccine. So far, there is no significant difference between adverse outcomes in pregnant women vs non-pregnant women. These results suggest that the vaccine does not affect pregnant women any differently than the general population. Another factor to consider is the effect of COVID-19 infection on your health. Pregnant people are considered a high-risk population for COVID-19 infection. Compared to people who are not pregnant, pregnant people are more likely to be hospitalized and experience more severe illness if infected. Pregnant people infected with COVID-19 may also have a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared to those who are not infected. Vaccination against COVID-19 is known to protect against hospitalization and other severe outcomes, therefore reducing the risk of these negative effects on you and your baby. If you are currently breastfeeding, you may also consider getting the vaccine. Based on how the vaccine works, there is no reason to believe that the vaccination will pose a risk to the lactating person or the breastfeeding baby. Recent reports have shown that the antibodies produced by the body after vaccination are present in breast milk, however, we do not yet know if this confers protection against COVID-19 to the breastfeeding baby.




Is the vaccine going to mess up my menstrual cycle?


Great question! While there is no definitive evidence that tells us that the vaccine messes with menstrual cycles, research also indicates that menstrual cycles are sensitive to lifestyle changes and stress. Immune responses to the COVID-19 vaccine may stimulate earlier or later periods, or heavier bleeding. However, these changes are not likely to cause any long-term harm.





 

Will taking supplements protect me from COVID-19?


Supplements like vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc are not sufficient to prevent COVID-19 infection or severe disease, if infected. Some observational studies show that lower vitamin levels in the blood is associated with higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19. However, these observational trials cannot prove that vitamins cause a lower risk of COVID-19 infection. The only types of studies that can determine cause are clinical trials. The COVID-19 vaccines underwent numerous clinical trials which proved that the vaccines cause protection from COVID-19. A clinical trial where COVID-19 patients were given zinc, vitamin C, both, or none, found no differences between groups in severity of symptoms or recovery time. You can take these supplements for general health and as complementary to the COVID-19 vaccine, but you should still get the COVID-19 vaccine.




Can I use at-home remedies to prevent or treat COVID-19?


Traditional, herbal, and homeopathic remedies alone are not proven to prevent or treat COVID-19 infection. While these ancestral forms of healing are valuable, they should be used as complementary to the COVID-19 vaccine and not as a replacement for the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective, rigorously studied preventative to COVID-19 infection and severe disease.




Can I take antibiotics to treat COVID-19?


No, antibiotics cannot treat COVID-19. While antibiotics are effective against bacterial conditions (like strep throat), they are not effective against viral diseases like COVID-19. Bacterial infections and viral infections attack the body in different ways, therefore they need different treatments. Antibiotics can be a great treatment for bacterial infections, but are not effective against viral infections such as the common cold and COVID-19. Antibiotics may be prescribed in hospitalized COVID-19 patients but this is only done if the patient has also developed a bacterial infection. It is never recommended that you attempt to self-medicate, please consult your healthcare provider before taking any medications.




Does drinking disinfectant or bleach prevent or treat COVID-19?


Ingesting disinfectant or bleach does not prevent or treat COVID-19. While these cleaning products can kill germs (like the COVID-19 virus) on surfaces, drinking bleach can lead to severe health consequences such as burning of the throat and destruction of digestive organs. Do not wash produce or other eatables with disinfectant or bleach.




Can I take medication to help manage the side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?


After receiving your vaccine you may experience side effects. This is a sign that your body’s immune system is hard at work learning how to protect you from the COVID-19 virus. That being said, not feeling your best can feel really frustrating!
Luckily, it is safe to take over-the-counter pain relief medications, like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen), after receiving your vaccine to help manage these side effects. In clinical trials for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, participants were allowed to take these medications as needed. In these studies, both vaccines still had high efficacy rates at 95% for Pfizer-BioNTech and 94.1% for Moderna. You may wonder if you can take these medications before getting the vaccine to prevent side effects; but, doctors recommend against this approach. Studies done on other vaccines in the past have shown that fever-reducing medications can impact the immune system’s response to a vaccine. We do not yet know if taking these medications before the COVID-19 vaccine could impact its ability to protect you. For now, it is recommended to wait until the onset of side effects before taking these medications. If you are unable to take these medications, there are other ways you can manage potential side effects. Applying a cool compress to the site of injection can help to reduce swelling. Light exercise or stretching of the arm can also help to increase blood flow and reduce arm pain. Finally, drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest will help your body recover faster so you can get back to feeling your best. Taking pain relieving medications can help manage vaccine-related side effects; however, it is best to hold off on taking these medications until the onset of side effects. Before taking any medication, it is important to talk to your doctor to make sure they are right for you!




Can I take Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19?


You should NOT use ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. As of yet, there is no evidence to suggest that Ivermectin can prevent COVID-19 infection or reduce disease severity if infected. Ivermectin is a drug used to paralyze worms and is often used to deworm livestock. It is sometimes prescribed to humans to treat parasitic infections like roundworm. However, there is NO evidence to suggest that Ivermectin can prevent or treat viral infections like COVID-19. In one randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 476 patients with mild COVID-19, a 5-day course of Ivermectin did not reduce the duration of COVID-19 symptoms. Another RCT of 501 non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients found that Ivermectin treatment did not reduce the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization. Both of these trials use a randomized control design, where one group is given the treatment and another group is given a placebo, and neither the participant nor the researcher knows which group the participant is in. Both these trials also have a decent sample size, so they provide good evidence to suggest that Ivermectin is not useful for COVID-19 treatment or prevention. However, we can also look at results from a systematic review. A systematic review is a type of study which collects all the RCTs for a particular treatment and evaluates them together to understand the effect of the treatment. Systematic reviews are considered the most robust type of evidence for drugs and other treatments. A systematic review of 14 RCTs could not conclude that Ivermectin leads to fewer COVID-19 deaths, prevents need for ventilation or oxygen, or reduces other unwanted events related to COVID-19. The authors explain that there is very low-certainty evidence for the effectiveness and safety of Ivermectin for COVID-19 prevention or treatment, and the current evidence does not support the use of Ivermectin for this purpose. Additionally, it is not safe to take Ivermectin that is designed for use in animals. Ivermectin for livestock and animals like horses can contain very high doses which are toxic to human beings. There may also be other ingredients in veterinary Ivermectin that are not safe for humans. This can lead to serious health consequences such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, coma, and even death. If you have purchased Ivermectin for animals, please discard it and do not use it. If you have taken Ivermectin for animals, please call 911 or poison control.





 

Should I get vaccinated if I want to become pregnant, am currently pregnant, or am breastfeeding?


If you are worried about the impact of the COVID-19 on your fertility or pregnancy, we are here to help! We understand that if you are pregnant, you want to make the best decision for your health and the health of your baby. We hope the information outlined here can help you make an informed decision. There is a ton of misinformation spreading that the antibodies made by your body after the COVID-19 vaccine can attack the reproductive system or the placenta. These antibodies are made to attack the COVID-19 virus, should you become infected, and will not accidentally attack cells of your own reproductive system or placenta. In other words, your antibodies can tell the difference between the COVID-19 virus and reproductive/placental cells. There is no evidence to suggest that antibodies produced after receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccines can harm fertility and/or pregnancy outcomes. While the COVID-19 vaccine trials did not enroll pregnant or breastfeeding people, some participants did become pregnant through the course of the trial. While participants were asked to refrain from pregnancy, It was found that individuals in both the vaccinated group and the placebo group had similar rates of accidental pregnancies. This also suggests that the vaccine has no impact on fertility. Currently, there are multiple vaccination surveillance programs being used to monitor adverse outcomes in the thousands of pregnant people who have since gotten the vaccine. So far, there is no significant difference between adverse outcomes in pregnant women vs non-pregnant women. These results suggest that the vaccine does not affect pregnant women any differently than the general population. Another factor to consider is the effect of COVID-19 infection on your health. Pregnant people are considered a high-risk population for COVID-19 infection. Compared to people who are not pregnant, pregnant people are more likely to be hospitalized and experience more severe illness if infected. Pregnant people infected with COVID-19 may also have a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared to those who are not infected. Vaccination against COVID-19 is known to protect against hospitalization and other severe outcomes, therefore reducing the risk of these negative effects on you and your baby. If you are currently breastfeeding, you may also consider getting the vaccine. Based on how the vaccine works, there is no reason to believe that the vaccination will pose a risk to the lactating person or the breastfeeding baby. Recent reports have shown that the antibodies produced by the body after vaccination are present in breast milk, however, we do not yet know if this confers protection against COVID-19 to the breastfeeding baby.




Is the vaccine going to mess up my menstrual cycle?


Great question! While there is no definitive evidence that tells us that the vaccine messes with menstrual cycles, research also indicates that menstrual cycles are sensitive to lifestyle changes and stress. Immune responses to the COVID-19 vaccine may stimulate earlier or later periods, or heavier bleeding. However, these changes are not likely to cause any long-term harm.





 
 

Are mRNA vaccines too new?


mRNA vaccines aren’t as new as you might think. Actually, mRNA vaccines have been researched for the past 30 years as a safe, new tool to develop immunity and fight cancer. The mRNA vaccines contain two important ingredients: mRNA and lipid nanoparticles. mRNA itself is a molecule that is found naturally in every person. mRNA is the instructions our body needs to build proteins. In 2005, a breakthrough study was published on how to safely deliver mRNA into cells using lipid nanomolecules. These lipid nanomolecules are tiny fat droplets that protect the mRNA from being destroyed before it reaches our cells. mRNA vaccines have been tested for coronaviruses (like COVID-19) since the early 2010s. Studies have also consistently highlighted the safety of mRNA vaccines.

In 2018, Nature, a reputable Science journal, had reviewed dozens of studies on mRNA vaccines and concluded their future was “extremely bright”. By the time COVID-19 vaccine development had begun, the researchers at Moderna were already developing an mRNA vaccine for Zika and influenza. We may very well see many mRNA vaccines in the future for a variety of illnesses.




Do vaccines cause magnetism?


The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain magnets and they cannot cause magnetism. Some people have claimed on social media that the contents of the vaccine made them magnetic. Videos of coins, spoons, and other metallic objects sticking to people who got the vaccine have gone viral. However, this has nothing to do with magnetism or the vaccine at all. It is the sweat, oils, and moisture on your skin that allows coins and other objects to stick. This is similar to how you can stick spoons to your nose or stick a playing card to your forehead. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain magnets. None of the ingredients in the approved vaccines can cause magnetism.




Is the vaccine a tracking device?


No, the COVID-19 vaccine is not a tracking device. There are no overlapping ingredients between the COVID-19 vaccines and tracking devices. Tracking devices need hardware and a battery life to work. These parts of a tracking device are impossible to put into a vaccine. In fact, many of the ingredients of the vaccines are found in the foods we eat, such as sucrose (fruits and vegetables), sodium chloride (salt), and cholesterol (meat, eggs). The vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. They are in no way electronic and do not contain electronic or magnetic parts. Getting vaccinated will help us get back to our normal lives in a safe and healthy manner.




Is it safe to mix the COVID-19 vaccines?


It is safe to mix the COVID-19 vaccinesas recommended by public health guidelines. Mixing vaccines is not a new idea. It has been done in the past with Ebola, flu shots, and hepatitis vaccines. Mixing Astrazeneca with mRNA New evidence suggests mixing Astrazeneca with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) is highly effective and safe. There is also no known risk of blood clots with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. If you got Astrazeneca as your first dose, it is recommended you get either Pfizer or Moderna as your second dose. However, you can also get a second dose of Astrazeneca if you had no severe issues with your first dose. Once you have two doses, you are fully vaccinated and have the greatest protection against COVID-19. Mixing mRNA with mRNA The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) can also be mixed because they are so similar. Vaccines from different companies can be mixed when they:

  • Have the same purpose
  • Are used in the same populations
  • Work in the same way
  • Are equally safe
  • Are equally effective
Looking at all these characteristics, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are pretty much the same. This means that if you got Pfizer as your first shot, you can get Moderna as your second. If you got Moderna first, you can get Pfizer second. The most important thing is to get the first vaccine available to you!




Was the vaccine developed and approved too quickly?


All of the COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the same review and approval processes as other drugs and vaccines approved in Canada. This review process ensures that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe to give to the public. The COVID-19 vaccines went through the following steps in order to be approved:

  • Exploratory: The vaccine was developed using existing technology that has been in development for the treatment of other similar viruses.
  • Preclinical: The vaccine was tested on cells and animals to collect initial information on whether it was safe and effective to move forward to humans.
  • Clinical Trials: These trials compared vaccinated and unvaccinated groups to answer questions about the efficacy* and safety of the vaccine.
  • Phase I: The vaccine was tested in small groups (tens of people) to determine a safe dosage level, side effects, and whether there were any major safety concerns.
  • Phase II: The vaccine was tested in larger groups (hundreds of people) to identify how well it works, the optimal dose, and to confirm if it is safe.
  • Phase III: The vaccine was tested in even larger groups (thousands of people) to determine the vaccine’s efficacy* in preventing disease and to identify any other side effects.
  • Approval: After all the trials had well-documented data, an application was sent to Health Canada for an independent review. A separate group of health experts reviewed all of the clinical trials to make sure they used proper methods and reported data correctly. This is the highest standard of review required to approve the vaccine to be administered to the public.
  • Continued Monitoring (Phase IV): Health Canada regularly monitors information about approved vaccines. This stage consists of safety monitoring, examining vaccine effectiveness within specific subgroups, and studying the duration of immunity.
While clinical trials and approval processes can take years, COVID-19 vaccines received a tremendous amount of support from governments, research organizations, and scientists around the world. Many research organizations shifted to working solely on the COVID-19 vaccines. This amount of funding and collective effort allowed us to reach our goal of developing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines more quickly.

* Efficacy is the degree to which a vaccine prevents disease under ideal and controlled environments like a clinical trial. Effectiveness refers to how well the vaccine works in the real world




Why is only the Pfizer vaccine approved for people under 18?


After over a year of homeschooling, isolation from friends and family, kids aged 12 and up are able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. But many parents and kids may be asking - why just Pfizer? What about the other cool-sounding vaccines like Moderna or Astrazeneca? In order to distribute the different COVID-19 vaccines to the public, we need to make sure that they are all 1) safe and 2) effective at protecting us.

To do this, the producers that make the vaccines test the vaccines over and over again, with more and more people in clinical trials. First, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for individuals aged 16+ in December 2020.2 The vaccine producers then tested it in teenagers and younger children. From these tests, the Pfizer vaccine showed comparable safety and effectiveness in children aged 12+ versus adults. In a trial of over 1000 participants aged 12+, Pfizer showed 100% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms and cases. Children who received the Pfizer vaccine showed similar side effects as adults, including sore arms, headaches and fatigue, but no serious adverse events were reported. This informed Health Canada’s decision in approving and distributing Pfizer vaccines for children from ages 12-17. Other vaccines, like Moderna, are also undergoing more tests to ensure safety and efficacy in children. Once approved by Health Canada, they will also be distributed to children. Until then, we are sticking with what has been approved by the federal health authority: Team Pfizer! As for children younger than 12, similar testing will be done in order to distribute vaccines to kids from 6 months to 11 years of age. Some questions that researchers are looking into for younger children include reduced dosing, as well as possible side effects, such as heart inflammation. According to Children’s Healthcare Canada, children younger than 12 may not be vaccinated until late winter 2021 or spring 2022 at the earliest.




I’m afraid of needles, how can I feel confident about getting the vaccine?


​​It is natural and valid to feel anxious about getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are afraid of needles or experience needle phobia. Just thinking about the vaccine may trigger stress, fear, and/or negative memories with needles, which may have delayed your decision in getting vaccinated. You are not alone! Around 25% of adults in what’s known as Canada share a fear of needles, and 5% of folks live with a needle-related phobia. We’ve outlined our top 5 tips to manage your anxiety and/or phobia around needles so you can feel safe getting your COVID-19 vaccination. Tip #1 - Use the CARD system The CARD system is a technique you can use to reduce anxiety around getting the vaccine. CARD is an acronym for:

  • C - Comfort. Find ways to make yourself physically comfortable. This could be wearing your favourite sweater or sweatpants, bringing a snack, sitting upright in your chair, or applying a numbing cream to your arm prior to your vaccine.
  • A - Ask. Asking questions can reduce anxiety around your concerns and fears with the vaccine. You can ask your healthcare provider, clinic volunteers, friends, and family about their experiences with the vaccine, such as “What does it feel like?” or “What do I have to do when I get to the clinic?”. You can also ask for specific accommodations to help ease needle stress (for example, asking if you can lie down and/or have privacy when getting vaccinated if you think you may faint or get emotional).
  • R - Relax. Practice a relaxation technique that works for you prior to your vaccine. Techniques can include mindful colouring books, deep breathing, meditation, or listening to calming music.
  • D - Distract. You can distract your mind from hyper-focusing on the needle by reading a book, listening to a podcast or music, or talking to the vaccine administrator while you’re getting vaccinated.
Tip #2 - Bring a buddy Most vaccination clinics allow you to bring a person or a registered support animal to support you before, during, and after your vaccine. It is best to call in advance of your appointment to make sure your clinic allows guests and/or emotional support animals to come with you.
Tip #3 - Media exposure As COVID-19 vaccinations are a prevalent topic in today’s media, you may have already seen pictures and videos of the vaccine in the news or on social media. While this type of content could be distressing for some folks, media exposure to needles may help reduce needle-related fear of the vaccine. Seeing other people get their vaccine can help you feel motivated and excited about getting your vaccine. However, make sure you are engaging with positive media about the vaccine, as opposed to negative or fear-based content. Tip #4 - One dose vaccine Receiving a one dose vaccination (such as Johnson & Johnson) can be a practical alternative for getting your COVID-19 vaccination, so you do not have to overcome needle-related fears twice. Contact your doctor to see if this is a realistic option for you. Tip #5 - Don’t look! Needle phobia or fears can spike in anticipation of getting the vaccine. You can reduce some of this anxiety by looking away from the needle (in addition to distracting yourself). It’ll be over before you know it and you can soon celebrate being protected against COVID-19!




Can you use marijuana or alcohol during, before, and after getting the vaccine?


It is very important that you are not under the influence when getting the vaccine.

Both alcohol and marijuana can impair judgement. Before your healthcare provider can give you the vaccine, they must get your informed consent. They cannot do this if you are under the influence. It is also harder for you to ask any health-related questions before getting your vaccine.
At this time, there are no studies that look at the effects of alcohol or marijuana on the efficacy* of COVID-19 vaccines. However, we can look at what we already know about how marijuana and alcohol affect the immune system to make some recommendations.
There is currently no evidence to suggest marijuana use affects your body’s response to the vaccine. Marijuana is safe to use in moderation before and after getting the vaccine. For those who smoke it often, getting the vaccine is even more important. Smoking can weaken your lungs and immune system, putting you at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection. The use of alcohol gets a bit more complicated. Moderate drinking (1-2 standard drinks) is considered safe; however, in excess (3 or more standard drinks), alcohol can weaken the immune system. Excess alcohol use can also worsen possible side effects from the vaccine. While having 1-2 drinks is likely safe, experts recommend avoiding alcohol for 2-3 days before and after getting the vaccine. It is best to swap out alcohol for other fluids that will keep you well hydrated to keep you feeling your best.
Both marijuana and alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation before and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. To keep yourself feeling your best, it is recommended to swap alcohol for other fluids in the days before and after getting the vaccine. If choosing to use either substance, be sure to do so responsibly!
* Efficacy is the degree to which a vaccine prevents disease under ideal and controlled environments like a clinical trial. Effectiveness refers to how well the vaccine works in the real world




What are the ingredients in the Pfizer vaccine?





What are the ingredients in the Moderna vaccine?





How do I know mRNA vaccines are safe in the long-term?


Firstly, to understand why the vaccines are most likely safe in the long-term it is important to understand how the vaccine works in our bodies. Once you receive the vaccine, your body responds with an immune reaction ( hello sore arm!). 💪However, these side effects quickly fade away, as does your immune reaction. The mRNA in the vaccine is degraded within a few days and the spike protein is degraded in a few weeks. This is why the vaccine is unlikely to have long-term side-effects.
In fact, our body doesn’t need the vaccine anymore because immune cells called memory immune cells 🧠 take over as “historians of the immune system”. Memory immune cells “remember” this invader (the spike protein from the mRNA vaccine) to fight back if faced with the same invader in the future (e.g. a future COVID-19 exposure).The COVID-19 vaccine does not need to last for a long time in our bodies because the memory immune cells keep record of COVID-19!
Additionally, we also need to keep in mind the long-term effects of COVID-19 itself. Those infected with COVID-19 can experience effects for weeks and months after infection, including fatigue, heavy breathing, memory and sleep problems, taste/smell loss, muscle pain and headaches. Beyond the physical effects of COVID-19, survivors have also reported feelings of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress after infection and hospitalization.

The COVID-19 vaccine works to prevent severe COVID-19 infections that may result in these long-term effects, preserving your long-term physical and mental health.




Can I take the vaccine if I’m allergic to the ingredients or have other anaphylactic allergies?


Severe allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines is very rare. A study of 64,900 hospital employees who received their first dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine found that only 0.025% of employees experienced anaphylaxis. 2% experienced symptoms such as itching, rash, hives, swelling, and/or respiratory problems. Risk of an acute or anaphylactic reaction to COVID-19 vaccines was greater in people who had previous allergy history. Most vaccine-related allergic reactions are caused by additives to the vaccines which are often included to increase stability and improve absorption. Some common ones include ‘PEG’ (polyethylene glycol) in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or polysorbate 80 (Tween 80) in the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. If you had a severe reaction to the first dose of any of the COVID-19 vaccines or have a history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredients in the available vaccines, it is suggested you delay vaccination and ask your primary care doctor for an allergy specialist referral to confirm a true allergic response or not. A severe allergic reaction typically occurs 0-30 minutes after vaccination and is severe enough to require the use of epinephrine treatment. If your reaction is diagnosed as allergic, there are still options that can be discussed with your allergy specialist and primary health care provider to get vaccinated against COVID-19! These options include a graded administration (also referred to as ‘split dose challenge’) or alternative COVID-19 vaccines that do not include the specific ingredient you are allergic to. Graded administration is a method where you are first given a low dose of the vaccine and wait 15-30 minutes under doctor supervision to ensure no adverse reaction. Every 15-30 min you are given increasing doses of the vaccine until you have received the full dose. If you undergo this protocol successfully, this DOES NOT mean you are not allergic to the vaccine or specific ingredients, thus any future vaccines or health care providers should know of both your allergy and the success of this approach. Alternatively, you can receive a different type of vaccine that does not include the ingredient you are allergic to since ingredients vary. For example, if you had an allergic reaction to an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna), talk to your healthcare provider about receiving the Astrazeneca vaccine for your second dose. If you have a history of severe allergic reaction to anything (for example medications, foods, latex, etc), you may be at an increased risk of severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine compared to people who have never experienced severe allergies. However, since allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are very rare, getting vaccinated is still highly recommended. The benefit of vaccination is much greater than the risks of serious allergic reactions. It is highly recommended that you are monitored for at least 30 minutes post-vaccination.
Most importantly, your decision should be made with your trusted health team!





Will taking supplements protect me from COVID-19?


Supplements like vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc are not sufficient to prevent COVID-19 infection or severe disease, if infected. Some observational studies show that lower vitamin levels in the blood is associated with higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19. However, these observational trials cannot prove that vitamins cause a lower risk of COVID-19 infection. The only types of studies that can determine cause are clinical trials. The COVID-19 vaccines underwent numerous clinical trials which proved that the vaccines cause protection from COVID-19. A clinical trial where COVID-19 patients were given zinc, vitamin C, both, or none, found no differences between groups in severity of symptoms or recovery time. You can take these supplements for general health and as complementary to the COVID-19 vaccine, but you should still get the COVID-19 vaccine.




Can I use at-home remedies to prevent or treat COVID-19?


Traditional, herbal, and homeopathic remedies alone are not proven to prevent or treat COVID-19 infection. While these ancestral forms of healing are valuable, they should be used as complementary to the COVID-19 vaccine and not as a replacement for the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective, rigorously studied preventative to COVID-19 infection and severe disease.




Can I take antibiotics to treat COVID-19?


No, antibiotics cannot treat COVID-19. While antibiotics are effective against bacterial conditions (like strep throat), they are not effective against viral diseases like COVID-19. Bacterial infections and viral infections attack the body in different ways, therefore they need different treatments. Antibiotics can be a great treatment for bacterial infections, but are not effective against viral infections such as the common cold and COVID-19. Antibiotics may be prescribed in hospitalized COVID-19 patients but this is only done if the patient has also developed a bacterial infection. It is never recommended that you attempt to self-medicate, please consult your healthcare provider before taking any medications.




Does drinking disinfectant or bleach prevent or treat COVID-19?


Ingesting disinfectant or bleach does not prevent or treat COVID-19. While these cleaning products can kill germs (like the COVID-19 virus) on surfaces, drinking bleach can lead to severe health consequences such as burning of the throat and destruction of digestive organs. Do not wash produce or other eatables with disinfectant or bleach.




Can I take medication to help manage the side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?


After receiving your vaccine you may experience side effects. This is a sign that your body’s immune system is hard at work learning how to protect you from the COVID-19 virus. That being said, not feeling your best can feel really frustrating!
Luckily, it is safe to take over-the-counter pain relief medications, like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen), after receiving your vaccine to help manage these side effects. In clinical trials for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, participants were allowed to take these medications as needed. In these studies, both vaccines still had high efficacy rates at 95% for Pfizer-BioNTech and 94.1% for Moderna. You may wonder if you can take these medications before getting the vaccine to prevent side effects; but, doctors recommend against this approach. Studies done on other vaccines in the past have shown that fever-reducing medications can impact the immune system’s response to a vaccine. We do not yet know if taking these medications before the COVID-19 vaccine could impact its ability to protect you. For now, it is recommended to wait until the onset of side effects before taking these medications. If you are unable to take these medications, there are other ways you can manage potential side effects. Applying a cool compress to the site of injection can help to reduce swelling. Light exercise or stretching of the arm can also help to increase blood flow and reduce arm pain. Finally, drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest will help your body recover faster so you can get back to feeling your best. Taking pain relieving medications can help manage vaccine-related side effects; however, it is best to hold off on taking these medications until the onset of side effects. Before taking any medication, it is important to talk to your doctor to make sure they are right for you!




Can I take Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19?


You should NOT use ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. As of yet, there is no evidence to suggest that Ivermectin can prevent COVID-19 infection or reduce disease severity if infected. Ivermectin is a drug used to paralyze worms and is often used to deworm livestock. It is sometimes prescribed to humans to treat parasitic infections like roundworm. However, there is NO evidence to suggest that Ivermectin can prevent or treat viral infections like COVID-19. In one randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 476 patients with mild COVID-19, a 5-day course of Ivermectin did not reduce the duration of COVID-19 symptoms. Another RCT of 501 non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients found that Ivermectin treatment did not reduce the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization. Both of these trials use a randomized control design, where one group is given the treatment and another group is given a placebo, and neither the participant nor the researcher knows which group the participant is in. Both these trials also have a decent sample size, so they provide good evidence to suggest that Ivermectin is not useful for COVID-19 treatment or prevention. However, we can also look at results from a systematic review. A systematic review is a type of study which collects all the RCTs for a particular treatment and evaluates them together to understand the effect of the treatment. Systematic reviews are considered the most robust type of evidence for drugs and other treatments. A systematic review of 14 RCTs could not conclude that Ivermectin leads to fewer COVID-19 deaths, prevents need for ventilation or oxygen, or reduces other unwanted events related to COVID-19. The authors explain that there is very low-certainty evidence for the effectiveness and safety of Ivermectin for COVID-19 prevention or treatment, and the current evidence does not support the use of Ivermectin for this purpose. Additionally, it is not safe to take Ivermectin that is designed for use in animals. Ivermectin for livestock and animals like horses can contain very high doses which are toxic to human beings. There may also be other ingredients in veterinary Ivermectin that are not safe for humans. This can lead to serious health consequences such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, coma, and even death. If you have purchased Ivermectin for animals, please discard it and do not use it. If you have taken Ivermectin for animals, please call 911 or poison control.





WHERE

There are many places to get vaccinated across the province including pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals and pop-up clinics.

Find the closest place to you and get vaccinated.
 

Book your appointment via the link below

Educate your friends and family with these easily shareable resources and help inform them on the power and efficacy of vaccines.

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