How do I get the coronavirus vaccine in Waterloo Region?
KITCHENER -- Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in Waterloo Region, including locations, how to register, and who is next in line.
WHO CAN GET VACCINATED RIGHT NOW?
Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children between five and 11 on Nov. 19. Children in that age group can start booking vaccine appointments on Nov. 23 in Waterloo Region.
Children's doses will be prioritized through the end of November into December, with a goal of vaccinating children before the holidays. There is an eight-week interval between first and second doses.
Anyone who is 18 or older can book a booster shot as of Dec. 20.
The province has shortened the interval to three months after a second dose.
WHO IS NEXT IN LINE?
Vaccines are available to everyone five and older in Waterloo Region.
Residents can book all doses online.
HOW WILL I FIND OUT WHEN I CAN RECEIVE THE VACCINE?
Waterloo Region's vaccination task force will share more information as it becomes available. Primarily, the task force will communicate vaccine updates through:
- Social media and its website
- Media outlets like CTV Kitchener
- Community partners like pharmacists
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
A self-serve option for booking doses is available in Waterloo Region.
Pharmacies and primary care providers can also adminster doses. Appointments can be booked directly with that provider.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE REGISTERING?
The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary but strongly recommended.
You can't get COVID-19 from the vaccine—none of the vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada use the live virus which causes the disease.
Side effects for the vaccine are likely to be moderate and resolve in a few days. Those include pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint paint, chills or fever.
In rare cases, people have had allergic reactions to the vaccination. These can be treated and are usually temporary.
Once Canada starts using a vaccine, the country monitors its use to alert public health officials about any unusual adverse events that weren't previously reported.
WHERE ARE THE VACCINES BEING DISTRIBUTED?
There are regional vaccine clinics distributing both first and second doses.
Walk-ins for first and second doses are available at all clinics.
Vaccines are also distributed at pharmacies and primary care offices, along with pop-up clinics and a mobile vaccine bus.
WHEN DO I GET MY SECOND DOSE?
Children's vaccines will have an eight-week interval between first and second doses.
People who received an mRNA vaccine as a first dose can get a second dose after 28 days have passed.
WHEN DO I GET A THIRD DOSE?
Third doses are available after three months have passed since a second dose.
Anyone 18 and older is eligible for a booster dose.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you work or live in a long-term care or retirement home or a congregate living facility, public health officials recommend that you contact your facility directly.
Those who work at a hospital should ask their occupational health and safety advisor.