How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
Vaccines tell your body how to make a harmless protein found in the virus and start building antibodies that know how to fight the real virus if you come in contact with it.
How well does the vaccine work, can I still get COVID-19?
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are given in two doses using a needle in your upper arm. The same vaccine is used for your first and second dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are expected to be 94-95% effective after two doses.
Do I still need to wear a mask after I’ve been vaccinated?
Yes. Studies are still underway to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing asymptomatic infection and reducing the transmission of COVID-19. For now, and until scientific experts say it’s safe to stop, it is important to continue to follow the advice of public health officials including maintaining a physical distance of two metres from people outside of your household, wearing a mask, practicing proper hand hygiene and limiting non-essential travel. These measures will help keep you, your loved ones and your community safe.
How long will the vaccine last? Do I need to get it each year?
Studies are still underway to determine how long the vaccine will provide immunity. The government will keep the public informed as new data becomes available.
How is the COVID-19 vaccine different from the flu vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine are very different and cannot be directly compared. They target different viruses: the flu vaccine has to combat several influenza viruses which mutate, while the COVID-19 vaccine targets just one virus, SARS-CoV-2.
What if I don’t take the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines?
It is important to receive both doses. Protection offered by the first dose is lower than what is achieved after the second dose. The vaccines are 94-95% effective after two doses.
What ingredients are in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine?
Non-medical ingredients in the vaccine include:
• ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
• ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
• 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
• Cholesterol
• dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
• monobasic potassium phosphate
• potassium chloride
• sodium chloride
• sucrose
• water for injection
See the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Information Sheet on Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines for further information.
What ingredients are in the Moderna vaccine?
Non-medical ingredients in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine include:
• 1, 2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)
• acetic acid
• cholesterol
• lipid SM-102
• PEG2000 DMG 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycerol, methoxy-polyethyleneglycol
• sodium acetate
• sucrose
• tromethamine
• tromethamine hydrochloride
• water for injection
See the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Information Sheet on Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines for further information.