COVID-19 Vaccine
 

Questions and Answers


The short answer is: Yes.

Like all vaccines, Health Canada will review the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that will be used throughout the country.  A vaccine must go through this process successfully before it can be used.

It is possible that Manitoba will receive vaccines from several manufacturers and each vaccine will have to go through the same approval process. Since they are new, the COVID-19 vaccines will undergo more rigorous monitoring for adverse events.

More information:

COVID-19: How vaccines are developed (Government of Canada)
With described video
Vaccine safety (Government of Manitoba)


All vaccines approved for use in Canada are monitored for safety and effectiveness. The Public Health Agency of Canada collects individual reports about people who have had mild or serious side effects after immunization. These are called ‘adverse events’.

This data is used to identify any patterns that may suggest a safety concern with the vaccine. This is used to develop guidelines to ensure people can access the vaccine safely.  


No. The Manitoba government covers all costs for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your Manitoba Health card or other form of government issued identification, to your appointment.


Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine is guided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI’s) guidance on the prioritization of initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine(s) (updated December 23, 2020). In addition, Manitoba officials considered logistics issues, such as unique storage and handling requirements for the first vaccine, when they made decisions about eligibility.


According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to some people until further evidence is available. This includes:

  • people with poor immune systems due to disease, treatment or an autoimmune disorder
  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

However, a risk assessment may determine the benefits of vaccine outweigh the potential risks. In these situations, the COVID-19 vaccine may be offered if informed consent includes a discussion about the low levels of evidence about the vaccine safety for these populations.

At this time, individual risk assessments are not being done at the designated COVID-19 immunization clinics. Work is underway to develop processes for individual risk assessments and more information will be posted here when it is available.

More appointments are being added as additional supplies of the vaccine are delivered to the province. Please continue to check Immunization Clinics for the most current information on clinics and vaccine availability.


Right now, there is a limited supply of vaccine in Canada and worldwide. Vaccine supply is expected to increase as more vaccines are developed, approved and distributed. As supply increases, the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine will be updated.


The Government of Canada has signed seven advance purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers that are in various stages of developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Some of these are in earlier phases where they are primarily assessing the safety of the vaccines, while others are in the final phase where they must demonstrate effectiveness.  If a vaccine has favourable results from this phase, manufacturers can request Health Canada approval and market authorization.

Health Canada will only approve a vaccine for public use if there is sufficient data on safety and effectiveness. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first approved for use in Canada.

More information: Regulating vaccines for human use in Canada (Government of Canada)


As is the case with any vaccine, there could be side effects. This happens when your immune system begins to fight. Side effects could include a number of different things, such as tenderness at the site of the injection, a low fever, aching joints, a headache or lethargy. However, none of these symptoms should last more than a week, or lead to a high fever. If this happens, contact your primary health care provider.

A more serious side effect could be a severe allergic reactions--also known as anaphylaxis. This is more common in people who have existing sensitivities to materials in the vaccine.

If you're concerned about allergies or side effects, talk to your primary health care provider or call Health Links-Info Santé.


You might be, but it may be too soon to tell. Studies are underway about the long-term success of the vaccine. You should still get your second dose on schedule. You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.


You should continue to reduce travel as much as possible. This is because COVID-19 may still be able to spread to others, even if you’ve been vaccinated and don’t get sick. Wearing a mask can reduce this risk.

You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.


You should continue to wear a mask. This is because COVID-19 may still be able to spread to others, even if you’ve been vaccinated and don’t get sick. Wearing a mask can reduce this risk.

You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.

Yes. This is because COVID-19 may still be able to spread to others, even if you’ve been vaccinated and don’t get sick. Self-isolating can reduce this risk. 

You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.

There is no simple answer to this question. It will depend on many factors, including how many people get vaccinated, how long it takes to get people vaccinated and how long the vaccine is effective.

You should continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.


Studies are underway about the long-term success of the vaccine. The results of these studies will help health care providers determine if booster shots are needed.


To date, there is no data about the safety of effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant or breastfeeding individuals. This is because these people have not been part of the clinical trials. At this time, it is recommended that individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding do not get vaccinated for COVID-19. Learn more in the COVID-19 vaccines fact sheet.


At this time, no vaccine is approved for use in Canada in children under the age of 16. This is because clinical trials of the vaccines have prioritized adults. As more information becomes available and vaccines are approved for use in children, this will change.


At this time, there is a limited supply of vaccine for use in Canada. That means governments have to make decisions about how to prioritize vaccination. This allows us to protect high-risk populations and those who help keep our health care system working. When there are enough vaccines available, the immunization program will be expanded. Visit Current Eligibility Criteria for the most up-to-date information.


At this time, there is a limited supply of vaccine for use in Canada. We have set our priority groups for immunization, but we don’t have enough vaccine for all of them to be immunized all at once.  As shipments arrive, we are calling on more priority groups.  When there are enough vaccines available, the immunization program will be expanded. Visit Current Eligibility Criteria for the most up-to-date information.


While the virus might spread through the air, the risk of getting COVID-19 is higher if you have close (less than two metres/six feet) and prolonged (more than 10 to 15 minutes) contact with someone who is sick. That’s why those providing direct patient care are prioritized for the vaccine at this time.


Having a vaccine can help prevent COVID-19, protect the health of Manitobans, and limit the strain on our health care system.  All Manitobans must still follow public health fundamentals, even when a vaccine is available, such as staying home when sick, washing your hands and wearing a mask.

More information: 

COVID-19 Prevention (Government of Manitoba)