- What is the difference in protection between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?
Currently the vaccine effectiveness is based on the clinical studies done for each vaccine before it was approved for use in Canada.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine had 44 000 participants in their studies and was found to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning 1 week after the second dose.
Moderna vaccine had 30 000 participant in their studies and was found to be 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning 2 weeks after the second dose.
It is important to know that the vaccines are continuing to be studied as more doses are administered data is continued to be collected on adverse events and effectiveness.
- Can you spread the virus after being vaccinated?
This is not yet known. What is known is that the vaccine prevents people from getting sick. It’s a possibility that someone may not get sick but could still pass it on to others. It is important to continue to practice wearing a mask, safe distancing and hand hygiene even after being vaccinated.
- What are the side effects of the COVID vaccine?
The side effects to the COVID-19 Vaccine are similar to that of other vaccinations. Mostly these are mild side effects such as pain at the site of injection, body chills, feeling tired and feeling feverish. These sides effects are signs that the vaccine is working and firing up your immune system.
As with any vaccine, there is a chance of serious side effects, such as an anaphylactic reaction. Serious side effects are rare.
Any reactions following vaccination are reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This is part of the ongoing safety monitoring process to ensure the vaccine continues to meet high safety standards.
- If people have already been infected, can they still be vaccinated?
Yes, even if someone has recovered from COVID-19, they should still be vaccinated. As more variants of the virus continue to develop, there is risk of being re-infected with COVID-19.
- What are the long term effects of the vaccine?
Scientist continue to gather the data on the long term effects of the vaccine. The vaccine has not been in use for a long time, therefor this information is not yet known. What we do know is that the disease itself has long term effects. COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada continue to be monitored. Any adverse events following immunizations are reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- How safe is the vaccine?
Any vaccine used in Canada must first go through approvals. Canada is known world-wide for its high standards and rigorous reviews. All clinical studies are done prior to approval for use in Canada. Even after approval, these vaccines continue to be closely monitored as long as they are used in Canada.
Health Canada has put in place a fast-tracked review process to assess COVID-19 vaccines. Canada has dedicated more scientific resources to complete these reviews so that they’re done quickly but without cutting corners. This is made possible due to the global priority and collaboration to find effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines.
Below is an infographic and short video that illustrate this process.