Commonly asked questions
What are the common side effects?
Just like any medicine or supplement you take, vaccines have possible side effects. These side effects are almost always very mild and show that your immune system is working well. The most common side effects include:
- pain, redness or swelling where the needle was given;
- muscle pain;
- joint pain;
- nausea or vomiting;
- fever; or
- enlarged lymph nodes (swollen glands) in the underarm.
What’s the risk of having an allergic reaction?
Very rarely, a vaccine can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- hives (bumps on the skin that are often itchy);
- swelling of the face, tongue or throat; or
- difficulty breathing.
Staff at the vaccine clinic are prepared to manage an allergic reaction if it happens. Get immediate medical care if you develop any of these symptoms.
What should you do if you have a reaction to the vaccine?
Clinic staff will ask you to wait at least 15 minutes after you receive the vaccine. This is to ensure you’re feeling well. Tell a health-care provider right away if you feel unwell during that wait time. Staff at the vaccine clinic are prepared to manage an allergic reaction if it happens.
If you develop any serious symptoms or symptoms of an allergic reaction after you leave the clinic, phone 911 right away.
Any serious side effects after vaccination should be reported to the Whitehorse Health Centre at 667-8864 or your local community health centre.
What’s the risk of a serious side effect?
Rare cases of inflammation of the heart have occurred after Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations. This more often happens after the second dose. The rate is about 1 per 100,000 second doses. It's been observed mostly in males under 30 years of age.
You should monitor for:
- chest pain,
- shortness of breath,
- feeling of a fast beating, fluttering, or pounding heart that does not go away with rest.
Talk to your healthcare provider before getting vaccinated if you have any concerns.
Phone 911 if you develop serious symptoms or an allergic reaction after you leave the clinic.
Serious side effects should be reported to the Whitehorse Health Centre or your local community health centre.
What should you do if you miss your 2nd dose of the vaccine?
Return for your 2nd dose as soon as possible, or talk to your health-care provider.
Now that Yukoners are getting vaccinated, do you still need to follow public health measures?
Yes. Public health measures will stay in place while we roll out vaccines. It will take time for everyone who wants the vaccine to be able to get it. Once you have had your vaccine, you’ll need to continue to do your part to keep others safe while we continue the rollout.
You should continue to practise the Safe 6.
Can you test positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated?
Getting the COVID vaccine will not cause you to test positive on a COVID PCR (current test used in Yukon) or antigen test. However, it’s possible to test positive for COVID-19 after vaccination if:
- you were already infected before receiving the vaccine; or
- the vaccine did not fully protect you from COVID. This is rare.
Will you get proof that you’ve been vaccinated?
When you go in for your 1st dose, the clinic staff will give you your COVID-19 immunization record. Remember to bring it with you when you go for your 2nd dose. It’s your personal COVID-19 vaccine immunization record, so remember to keep it somewhere safe.
You can also download the CanImmunize app to keep track of this vaccine and others.
How can you participate in ongoing monitoring of the vaccine?
The Canadian National Vaccine Safety Network (CANVAS) assesses ongoing vaccine safety when vaccine campaigns happen.
This national organization monitors many vaccines, including seasonal flu vaccines. They monitor for very rare side effects that can only be detected when large numbers of people are given the vaccine.
CANVAS is currently monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. CANVAS is looking for people who have and have not received a COVID-19 vaccine to participate.
How to enrol
Visit CANVAS-COVID.ca or phone 1-855-675-2187 to enrol or for more information.
CANVAS will collect information from participants who are vaccinated after each dose and 6 months after the last dose. They will also send a control survey to unvaccinated participants.