COVID-19 - Coronavirus
Canadians with chronic lung disease are more susceptible to a more serious case of Covid-19. It does not mean that they are more likely to be infected by Covid-19, but it does mean that if they are, the chances of their case turning serious are higher. This is why it is extremely important to follow the guidelines below.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid crowded areas and non-essential gatherings.
- If you must leave your home, avoid greetings that rely on touch (like a handshake or a hug). Wave instead.
- If you must leave your home, keep a distance of at least 2 metres between you and another person.
- When you arrive at home from an essential outing, be sure to wash your hands, change your clothes and wipe down your shopping bags. This is just as important if you are a caregiver for someone with a lung disease.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
- use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- When coughing or sneezing:
- cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
- dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
Clean and desinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- When eligible, book your appointment for your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Get the type of COVID-19 vaccine that’s first/readily available to you.
- Avoid any other vaccines two weeks prior to your COVID-19 shot and 28 days after (with some exceptions). This includes the flu shot.
- Speak with your healthcare provider if you have concerns.
- Keep yourself and those around you safe by following safety measures and advice of public health officials.
We understand that there are a number of questions about the new COVID-19 vaccines currently available. We also understand that some people may feel hesitant about accepting a COVID-19 vaccine. Working with leading experts, we have answers to the questions you may have as you consider vaccination. Please note, this video was filmed in February 2021. For up-to-date information about all approved vaccines visit Health Canada.
Please note that since the filming of the video above, two additional vaccines have been approved, which are viral vector vaccines. There are currently two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and two viral vector vaccines approved for use in Canada. Others are currently under review. We have answers to the questions you may have as you consider COVID-19 vaccination.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Canadian health authorities like Health Canada, have done their due diligence in making sure that the vaccines that are available are safe and effective. Because vaccines are given to prevent disease in healthy people, Health Canada has very high standards for their safety.
The Public Health Agency of Canada also actively monitors emerging safety issues and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.They are collaborating and sharing information with partners in Canada and around the world such as the World Health Organization. Lastly, vaccine manufacturers are also required to continuously monitor the use of their health vaccines and report any side effects to Health Canada.
Does the vaccine inject me with a live virus?
As of March 8, 2021, there are four COVID-19 vaccines approved. Two are mRNA types of vaccines and two are viral vector vaccines.
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus. The two COVID-19 mRNA vaccines currently available contain specific genetic information on how to make a protein that is found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Our body’s cells then make this protein, which is used to trigger an immune response to the virus.
Our immune system will later recognize the COVID-19 virus and remember how to fight it. What is left of the RNA is then quickly broken down and expelled from the body. The mRNA does not change our DNA.
The other two approved vaccines are viral vector vaccines. These types of vaccines use a harmless virus, such as an adenovirus, as a delivery system. This “vector” virus is not the virus that causes COVID-19. Adenoviruses are among the viruses that can cause the common cold. There are many different types of adenoviruses and many have been used as delivery systems for other vector-based vaccines for decades. This type of vaccines also triggers the protein that is found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thus allowing us to build a strong immune response to COVID-19 without actually getting the virus.
Are there side effects to the vaccines?
Like all medications, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. Most common side effects you may experience are:
- pain at the site of injection
- body chills
- feeling tired
- feeling feverish.
These are common side effects of many vaccines and do not pose a risk to health. These symptoms normally last less than a week. As with all vaccines, there’s a chance that there will be a serious side effect, like swelling of the glands, but these are rare. If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
How can I prepare for vaccination when it is available to me?
- Try to eat something before your immunization and afterwards.
- Wear short sleeves or something easy to pull up so that the upper arm can be reached easily.
- Bring any supplies you need, such as a facemask and something to distract you.
- Be calm and positive.
- Do not tense your arm where the needle is going in – keep it relaxed
- If you feel faint or get dizzy, you can squeeze your knees together or ask to lie down.
- Have acetaminophen available to treat common side effects. Let your healthcare provider know if you are experiencing any side effects that worry you.
- Keep a record of the vaccine you received and make an appointment for your second dose.
Find more tips here: https://immunize.ca/card-adults.
When will you get vaccinated?
For information on the vaccination rollout plans in your province or territory, please refer to your provincial or territorial website.
For more information about the vaccines, please visit the following resources: