You may have reservations or questions about routine vaccinations and getting vaccinated. We know there are many reasons why people delay vaccination or decide not to get a vaccine.
Fear of needles is a big one.
You may also have questions about the safety, efficacy, or importance of vaccines. We understand this too. We know there is a lot of good information out there and a ton of misinformation as well. It can be hard, in some cases, to separate fact from fiction.
Barriers, such as a lack of transportation or not having a family doctor, can also prevent people from getting vaccinated.
Grey Bruce Public Health has compiled information and resources to help address some of the most common factors that may be preventing people from getting vaccinated.
Below, you’ll find answers to some of the commonly asked questions about the safety, efficacy, and importance of vaccination. We’ve also included information aimed at dispelling some of the myths you may have heard about vaccines and getting immunized.
Our When and Where immunization page includes some information aimed at helping people to overcome some of the most common barriers to vaccination.
If you have unanswered questions about vaccination, you can book a one-on-one call with a doctor through the free VaxFacts Clinic.
This service is provided by the Scarborough Health Network but is available to Canadians from coast to coast, including Grey-Bruce residents. You can book an appointment to speak with a doctor by visiting the VaxFacts website.
Judgement-free telephone consultations are available in more than 200 languages and the VaxFacts team of doctors includes family physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians, and other qualified specialists.
These doctors can discuss any vaccines, including childhood immunizations and influenza, COVID-19, or monkeypox vaccines.
Vaccines are a cornerstone of public health. Immunization has significantly contributed to preventing, controlling, and even eliminating infectious diseases in Canada and around the world.
Health Canada approves the use and sale of vaccines in Canada, only if they are shown to be effective, safe, of high quality, and with benefits that outweigh potential risks.
Vaccine manufacturers must file with Health Canada a New Drug Submission, which contains extensive data about the vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and quality, as well as the results of pre-clinical and clinical studies, details about production, and in-depth information on side effects and adverse reactions that occur after vaccination.
All approved vaccines are continuously monitored to ensure their safety, effectiveness, and quality are maintained. The ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety involves many groups, including federal and provincial governments and health agencies, public health units, health care providers, and the public.
This Government of Canada infographic depicts the vaccine approval process in Canada.
For more information:
Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19: Progress - Canada.ca
Vaccine Regulatory Process in Canada
The safety of vaccines is carefully monitored, starting early in product development and continuing for as long as the vaccine is available to the public.
Regulating vaccines for human use in Canada - Canada.ca
Vaccine Safety | immunizecanada
Like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects and reactions. This is the body's natural response, as it's working hard to build immunity against the disease.
Vaccine side effects usually last from a few hours to a few days, and most do not disrupt daily activities.
Common reactions to vaccine(s) are mild, and may include:
Get medical attention immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms within 3 days of receiving an immunization:
Vaccine safety and possible side effects - Canada.ca
Vaccine Safety is important to all of us: Information for Parents
Routine vaccines protect people against very harmful and serious diseases, such as measles, polio, meningococcal, tetanus, and diphtheria. Vaccines are given to prevent you from getting a disease before it has a chance to make you sick.
Vaccines have saved more lives in Canada than any other medical intervention in the past half-century.
The World Health Organization says there are now vaccines to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases. The WHO estimates that immunization prevents about 3.5 million to five million deaths annually. They also protect against diseases that may not be deadly, but can cause pain and permanent disability.
Diseases like tetanus, whooping cough, and influenza are continually present in Canada. Other diseases are common in other parts of the world. Due to international travel, these diseases can easily arrive in Canada. It’s important to maintain high rates of immunization to keep them from infecting others and spreading.
Vaccines: Common concerns | Caring for kids (cps.ca)
Vaccines do not cause autism.
The original pop-culture connection between routine vaccinations and autism came from a discredited and retracted medical article in a UK-based journal, The Lancet, by a former British doctor. The doctor was de-licensed for “callous disregard” of children under his care by British medical authorities. You can read more about this example of fraudulent science, here.
Medical researchers and scientists around the world have not found a link between vaccines and autism.
Because children are vaccinated at around the same age as autism is often diagnosed, some people think vaccinations and autism are linked, but they are not.
Talking about Vaccines: Autism (immunize.org)
Autism and Vaccines | Vaccine Safety | CDC
Each ingredient found in vaccines has an important role to play in ensuring the vaccine remains effective and safe. Each ingredient is found in small quantities and can be found naturally in the food we eat and in nature.
The main ingredients of a vaccine are dead or weakened viruses or bacteria.
Vaccines may also contain:
Certain materials, such as thimerosal, formaldehyde, and aluminum, are used to kill bacteria and make vaccines as safe and effective as possible.
No. Every day, our bodies come into contact with millions of germs, causing our immune systems to work continuously to protect us. Therefore, exposure to antigens (parts of weak or dead viruses or bacteria) in vaccines is easily handled by our immune systems.
Even babies do not experience more side effects when more than one vaccine is given at a time. Vaccines are designed to protect your baby as soon as possible against more than one disease. Rather than overwhelming your baby's immune system, vaccines make the immune system stronger.
No. Vaccines cannot make you sick and you cannot get the corresponding disease from the vaccine. Most vaccines do not contain live virus, and those vaccines that do contain live viruses cannot make you sick. Vaccines that have live viruses are severely weakened to the point that is enough to trigger an immune response, but not to cause any illness.
Vaccines - Immunization - Health Care Professionals - MOHLTC (gov.on.ca)
Questions and Answers | immunizecanada
MYTH: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will make you magnetic or COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips.
FACT: There are no metals or microchips in the vaccines and they cannot make you magnetic.
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility or miscarriage.
FACT: There is no link between COVID-19 vaccines and infertility or miscarriage.
MYTH: Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women should not receive the vaccine.
FACT: The vaccines are safe while pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
MYTH: Genetic material in the COVID-19 vaccines will multiply in the body forever, changing your DNA.
FACT: The genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
MYTH: People who are vaccinated can ‘shed’ the virus or spike proteins and infect others with COVID-19.
FACT: Individuals who have received the vaccine cannot shed or release any vaccine component.
MYTH: Corners were cut to develop a vaccine so quickly when it usually takes years.
FACT: The speed at which the vaccine was developed was thanks to unprecedented international collaboration and years of previous research.
The vaccines were developed quickly because of:
*Addressing COVID-19 vaccine myths resource Adapted from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
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