Preparing for your COVID-19 vaccination

If you have booked an appointment to receive the vaccine, please read the following information to prepare for your appointment.

Before your appointment

Please review the following. If any of them apply to you, click the drop-down to determine your next steps in the vaccination process. If none of the statements apply to you, please proceed to your scheduled appointment. 

I have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, you are required to have a conversation with your doctor about getting the COVID-19 vaccine prior to attending your scheduled vaccination appointment. Your doctor may refer you to allergist-immunologist for further consultation. After this consultation you may decide: 

  1. To receive the vaccine. At your appointment you will be asked to provide documentation from your allergist-immunologist indicating that it is safe to receive the vaccine and under what circumstances.
  2. Not to receive the vaccine. Please contact 1-800-265-7293 Ext. 0 to cancel your scheduled appointment.

I have had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in any of the available COVID-19 vaccines (e.g. Polyethylene glycol [PEG]).

If you have had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in any of the available COVID-19 vaccines, you are required to have a conversation with your doctor about getting the COVID-19 vaccine prior to attending your scheduled vaccination appointment. Your doctor may refer you to allergist-immunologist for further consultation. After this consultation you may decide: 

  1. To receive the vaccine. At your appointment you will be asked to provide documentation from your allergist-immunologist indicating that it is safe to receive the vaccine and under what circumstances.
  2. Not to receive the vaccine. Please contact 1-800-265-7293 Ext. 0 to cancel your scheduled appointment.

On the day of your appointment 

  • Take your regular medication and eat your meals as usual (we recommend eating something before you come). 
  • Do not wear any scented products. 
  • Wear a loose-fitting top or a t-shirt so that the healthcare provider can easily access your upper arm where the injection will be administered (into the deltoid muscle).  
  • Everyone is required to bring an OHIP card or any government issued-photo ID (if no OHIP card) to confirm your appointment. For occupation-based priority groups, please bring workplace identification (e.g., workplace ID badge, letter from your employer) to confirm your eligibility.
  • Masks are required to be worn upon arrival to the clinic. Once inside, everyone is required to change into a Level 1 medical mask provided by clinic staff - regardless of the type of mask you are wearing upon arrival. This is mandatory before you can proceed into the clinic.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather outside, as you may end up waiting in line.
  • You may bring ONE person with you to your appointment (i.e. interpreter, care partner, support person, friend, family member, someone to help navigate the clinic). Any additional people are asked to wait outside or in their vehicle.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should not attend the clinic. Please contact 1-800-265-7293 Ext. 0 and follow their instructions. 

What to expect upon arrival 

  • Vaccination clinics will take every precaution to ensure your health and safety during your visit. Public health measures will be implemented, and all healthcare personnel, patients, and other staff and visitors will be expected to follow all public health measures in the clinic. This includes wearing a mask while at the clinic, washing your hands or using the provided hand sanitizer, and maintaining physical distancing from others (at least 2 metres). 
  • It is important that you arrive on time. This will help our clinics run as efficiently as possible.  Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes early or late. 
  • Follow the instructions on the signage at the clinic location. 
  • You will be asked to provide your OHIP card or any government issued-photo ID if no OHIP card) to confirm your appointment. 
  • You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry into the clinic. 

After your vaccination 

  • You will be asked to stay for 15-30 minutes after you receive the vaccine to monitor for any adverse reactions. 
  • Like all medicines and other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects of COVID-19 vaccines do not pose a risk to health, are mild to moderate and should resolve within a few days. Monitor for: 
    • Pain at injection site, redness, swelling 
    • Fatigue 
    • Headache 
    • Muscle pain or joint pain 
    • Chills 
    • Fever 
    • Swollen glands 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Nausea/ vomiting 
    • Enlarged lymph nodes (swollen glands) in your underarm 
  • Please review this After Care Sheet that tells you what to expect after vaccination. 
  • You will receive a record of your immunization.

When to expect a second dose

  • To increase the number of individuals benefiting from a first dose of vaccine in the context of a limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, the province is following recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to extend the time interval of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines up to 16 weeks. This 16-week interval for the second dose applies to all two-dose vaccines currently approved by Health Canada.
  • Following these updated interval recommendations, you will be eligible to receive a second dose 16 weeks after your first dose.
  • Residents of long-term care and retirement homes will continue to receive a second dose within 21-28 days.