COVID-19 Vaccines

(SRAS-CoV-2)


About the vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vaccines work with your immune system, so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against severe illness, hospitalization, long-COVID or death from COVID-19.


What are the benefits of the vaccine

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines far outweigh the risks of complications from COVID-19 infections.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effectiveness and meet the quality standards of Health Canada before being approved.

Receiving an mRNA XBB.1.5 dose provides updated protection against circulating COVID-19variant.Unvaccinated people are at higher risk of getting COVID-19, developing symptoms, and spreading it to others. Even if you already had COVID-19, on top of two or more vaccines doses, you still benefit from another COVID-19 dose.

The combination of the vaccine and the infection work together to create hybrid immunity.  Hybrid immunity provides strong protection against new variants. To improve your protection from the virus, plan your next vaccine dose based on the date of your infection. 

Vaccine protection and hybrid immunity will wane over time which is Public Health recommends getting your next dose and staying up to date with your vaccines.


How is the vaccine given

The vaccine is given as an injection into the upper arm in older children and adults and into the thigh in infants.

Can I get my vaccine at the same time as my Flu shot or other non-COVID vaccines?

Yes.  COVID-19 vaccines can be safely given at the same time as other vaccines if you are 6 months old and up. This means fewer vaccine appointments and ensures you and/or your child are protected sooner.

Who should receive the vaccine

Starting fall 2023, it is recommended that everyone in New Brunswick aged 6 months and older receives the updated mRNA XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccine. Your primary healthcare provider, pharmacist or immunizer can assess the number of doses required based on your age, previous vaccinations and your health status.

You are eligible if:

  1. You  never received a COVID-19 vaccine. Get the first dose at any time or 8 weeks since a known infection.
  2. You started a primary series with a non-XBB.1.5 vaccine but have not yet completed the series.  Get the next dose 8 weeks since your last vaccine or infection (whichever is most recent).
  3. You have previously completed a full COVID-19 vaccine series with either a Moderna or Pfizer non-XBB.1.5 vaccine. Get one dose 6 months (minimum of 3 months) since your last non-XBB.1.5 vaccine or infection (whichever is most recent).
  4. You are immunocompromised and completed your full COVID-19 series plus one additional dose with a non-XBB.1.5 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer). Get the next dose 6 months (minimum of 3 months) since your last non-XBB.1.5 vaccine or infection (whichever is most recent). If you did not complete the series above, get the next dose 4-8 weeks since your last non-XBB.1.5 vaccine or infection (whichever is most recent).

Groups at higher risk are especially encouraged to get vaccinated and these include:

  • Individuals aged 65 and older;
  • Individuals who are pregnant;
  • Individuals with underlying medical conditions or who are immunocompromised;
  • Individuals who live in a long-term care facility, including nursing homes, special care homes, or adult residential facilities;
  • Individuals who work in healthcare, particularly those who have direct contact with patients and other caregivers;
  • Indigenous individuals 

If you have questions about when to book your next dose or how many doses you need, consult your health-care provider, local pharmacist or Public Health office. 

Who the vaccine is not recommended for

  • Children under the age of 6 months old.
  • Individuals who have a serious acute febrile illness at the time of vaccination.
  • Individuals who have had myocarditis and/or pericarditis within 6 weeks of receiving a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should consult with their health care practitioner.
  • Individuals who have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of the vaccine.  
  • Individuals with a previous history of Multisystem inflammatory syndrome vaccination or re-vaccination should be postponed until clinical recovery has been achieved or until it has been at least 90 days since diagnosis, whichever is longer.

Discuss your options with your health-care provider to determine the most appropriate actions for your situation.

I am allergic to a component of the vaccine being offered to me, can I still get a vaccine?

Depending on your allergy, it is still possible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • You may be asked to wait longer in the clinic after receiving the vaccine.
  • You may be able to receive another COVID-19 vaccine product.

Discuss your options with your health-care provider to determine the most appropriate vaccine for your situation. 

Should you get a COVID-19 vaccine after having a COVID-19 infection?

Yes. Vaccination after a COVID infection is important. The combination of having been infected and also being vaccinated (called hybrid immunity) provides strong protection against new variants. To improve your protection against the virus, plan your next vaccine dose based on the date of your infection. 

Consult with your primary health-care provider, pharmacy, or local Public Health office for guidance on the best timing for your next dose.

I am immunocompromised, should I get an additional dose?

Individuals with certain immunocompromising conditions be immunized with an additional dose of an XBB.1.5 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in addition to the recommended extra dose this fall. This will provide stronger protection for those who may have a less than optimal l immune response to vaccines.

Vaccine reactions

It is possible to experience common side effects in the days following vaccination. While most side effects are generally mild and temporary, they might make you feel unwell for a short period and go away on their own. COVID-19 vaccines do not cause COVID-19 infection. 

Some more common and expected side effects include one or more of the following:

Pain, redness or swelling where the needle was given, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, fever. 

Allergic reactions, although rare, can occur after receiving a vaccine, just like with any other vaccines. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy), swelling of your face, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing. The clinic staff are prepared to manage an allergic reaction should it occur. Seek immediate medical care if you develop any of these symptoms.   

Other very rare reactions reported after getting an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine include: 

  • Anaphylaxis 
  • Myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart or lining on the outside of the heart) 
  • Bell's palsy (facial paralysis) 

Treating reactions

  • A cold compress at the injection site may reduce discomfort. 
  • For discomfort and fever, ask your health-care provider what medicine is best for you or your child.

NEVER give Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin®) to children younger than 18 years because it can cause a severe liver and brain disease called Reye’s syndrome.

Any unexpected or serious reaction to a vaccine should be reported to your healthcare provider.

How to book a vaccine appointment

You can book your next COVID-19 vaccine appointment by visiting: COVID-19 vaccines  booking (gnb.ca)

Additional information and resources

How do I obtain a record of my COVID-19 Immunizations?

Your immunization provider will provide you with an immunization record. Keep this record in a safe place and bring it with you at the next immunization visit.

Register online at MyHealthNB.gnb.ca to obtain a record of all your COVID-19 immunizations. The paper record of COVID-19 Immunization provided when vaccinated will continue to be the official record. Keep your immunization record in a safe place. 

If the information on your record is incorrect or you received immunizations outside of New Brunswick and want them added, you can send an email to [email protected]

Inform your immunization provider if you or your child have any health problems or allergies. 

If you or your child have any unusual reactions to the vaccine, or you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider. 

Consult your health care provider or a travel clinic before you or your loved ones travel to ensure you are up to date with your immunization. 

 

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