Answering Patient Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines 

Dear Patients, 

As you all know, the first vaccines are being given to higher-risk people and healthcare workers. But we look forward to when you all will have access to the vaccine. We do not yet know the place or the timing and we will communicate this when we do. 

  •  Appropriate steps taken – The vaccines were developed so fast because it was a top priority for everyone in the field and billions of dollars from governments and companies around the world were spent on getting it developed. The scientific world cooperated in ways they had not before.
  •  New technology mRNA has been used for cancer treatments for upwards of 30 years, but this is the first vaccine using the technology. There are two vaccines made this way (Pfizer and Moderna) and another one (Oxford) coming later is made with an older technology (like the effective Ebola vaccine).
  •  Effectiveness – In clinical studies, very few people got COVID-19 within 12 days of getting the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This result is similar to the Moderna vaccine, which is the other COVID-19 vaccine now approved for use in Canada. 
  • Allergies – People with allergies to any of the ingredients in the vaccine should not receive it. We will discuss any serious allergies or other health conditions you may have before you receive the vaccine. 
  • Pregnancy and children less than 16 years old – None of the vaccine trials included these populations, so at this time the vaccine is not recommended routinely for these groups. For pregnant or breastfeeding individuals who are at high risk of infection and/or morbidity from COVID-19, the various national societies for obstetricians have stated that “the documented risk of not getting the COVID-19 vaccine outweighs the theorized and un-described risk of being vaccinated during pregnancy or while breastfeeding and vaccination should be offered.”

Our clinic has remained accessible to you, by phone or in person as it was deemed necessary. We thank you for your understanding as we help you in your health in these different ways. 

Thank you all for what you have done to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and your communities safe.

We look forward to when the vaccine allows us to return to a life that is more connected. In the meantime, wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands. And be calm, be safe, be kind.