After getting vaccinated

The following information was developed for Labatt by medical professionals and public health experts using Canadian government and other scientific and medical sources.

It is not intended as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I give other people COVID-19 even though I have been vaccinated?

We still don’t know how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in stopping the spread of the virus. We know the vaccines do prevent most serious cases of COVID-19, but we are still learning whether the vaccines also prevent you from getting infected with the virus and whether, if infected, you can still spread the virus to another person. For this reason, it is important to keep taking precautions like wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing, in order to protect those around you.

Can I still get COVID-19 after vaccination?

Yes, it is still possible to get COVID-19 after vaccination. It normally takes the body several weeks to build up immunity following COVID-19 vaccination – and maximum protection is only achieved after completion of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. 

It is possible that some individuals might get infected with COVID-19 just before or shortly after receiving the vaccine. It is also possible that some individuals are unable to mount a sufficient immune response (protection) to fully prevent COVID-19.

When will I receive my second dose? Does the vaccine work as well if there is a longer time between doses?

You should check with your local health authority, public health, provincial or territorial officials to better understand the timing of your second dose. 

In order to vaccinate the most people with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and Health Canada recommend that the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca be delayed by up to four months after the first dose. This recommendation is also based on evidence showing that the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine may be more effective than previously thought, providing sufficient protection between doses.

Should I continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing after my vaccination?

Yes, you should continue to wear a mask, physical distance and practice good hand hygiene. This is because it takes several weeks for the vaccine to become effective (to build immunity) and maximum protection is only achieved after completion of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

How long does the COVID-19 vaccine protection last?

It is still not known how long protection following vaccination lasts. But with hundreds of millions of people already vaccinated worldwide, and clinical studies looking at this question, we are getting closer to an answer. It is hoped that protection will last at least several years.

How long before the vaccine starts to work?

It usually takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity following COVID-19 vaccination. But remember that two doses are required in order to achieve the best immunity from the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine only requires one dose.

What should I do if I experience COVID-19 symptoms after vaccination?

If you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (for example, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, fever), talk to your health care provider or complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool and get tested if recommended.

What should I do if I experience side effects?

If you experience severe side effects seek medical help immediately.

Contact your health care provider if any redness or tenderness around your vaccination site worsens after 24-48 hours. If your symptoms are not going away or are getting worse, or you are worried, contact your health care provider.

Most side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine should go away within a few days of receiving the vaccine.

What are the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

After vaccination, it is common to have temporary mild or moderate side effects, including: 

  • Pain, redness, warmth, itching or swelling at the site of injection,
  • Fatigue,
  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Muscle or joint pain, and
  • Mild fever or chills.

These are normal signs that your body is building protection and these symptoms should go away within a few days. If your symptoms are significant or worsening, consult your health care provider.

Very rarely, a more serious side effect called anaphylaxis may occur. This generally occurs within several minutes or the first hour after vaccination. For this reason, people receiving their COVID-19 vaccine are asked to remain for at least 15 minutes following vaccination so that health care personnel can monitor individuals for any serious reactions.