Vaccines for COVID-19: How to get vaccinated (2024)

Updated COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by Health Canada and are available for use.

On this page

  • Current recommendations
  • Book a vaccination appointment
  • Benefits of vaccination
  • Timing of vaccination
  • Vaccination after having COVID-19
  • When to consult with your health care provider

Current recommendations

COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness, death and post COVID-19 condition (long COVID).

If you haven't received any COVID-19 vaccines before, the updated COVID-19 vaccine can be used for your vaccinations.

Contact your local public health unit for more information on vaccine recommendations and to book an appointment.

If you’re at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19

This spring, people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 may receive an additional dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine. This includes:

  • adults 65 years of age and older
  • adult residents of long-term care homes and other group living settings for seniors
  • individuals 6 months of age and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (due to underlying conditions or treatment)

It's recommended that these high-risk people get an additional updated COVID-19 vaccine dose if it's been 6 months since their last dose.

A shorter interval of at least 3 months from the last dose may be used. This ensures high-risk people are able to receive additional protection over the spring and summer months.

If you're at increased risk and you didn't receive a fall or winter vaccination

If you didn't receive a dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine last fall, it's particularly important for you to get vaccinated this spring.

If you're at increased risk and you've recently had COVID-19

If you have a recent test confirming you were infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you may consider delaying your COVID-19 vaccination. An interval of at least 3 to 6 months from time of infection may be used.

If you're at increased risk but unsure if you've recently had COVID-19

You may not have taken a test confirming infection or may be unsure if you've been recently infected. In this case, you may receive the vaccine any time if it's been 3 to 6 months after you received your last COVID-19 vaccine dose. There are no known safety risks with receiving a vaccine after a recent infection.

Book a vaccination appointment

Book an appointment through your province or territory:

Benefits of vaccination

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping to protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated may also reduce your risk of becoming infected and possibly developing post-COVID-19 condition. If you do become infected, being vaccinated also reduces the likelihood of developing symptoms of post COVID-19 condition compared to people who haven't received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Post COVID-19 condition, also known as long COVID, is when people still experience symptoms of COVID-19 for weeks or months after their initial infection.

Learn more about:

  • COVID-19: What to expect at your vaccination
  • Post COVID-19 condition (long COVID)

Timing of vaccination

This spring, it's recommended that high-risk people get an updated COVID-19 vaccine dose if it's been at least 3 to 6 months since their last dose.

You may not have taken a test confirming infection or may be unsure if you've been recently infected. In this case, you may receive the vaccine any time if it's been 3 to 6 months after you received your last COVID-19 vaccine dose. There are no known safety risks with receiving a vaccine after a recent infection.

If you haven't received any COVID-19 vaccines before, the updated COVID-19 vaccine can be used for your vaccinations.

Provinces and territories design and deliver their own vaccination programs. As a result, vaccination recommendations, including timing of vaccination, may differ by region. Most areas now have the COVID-19 and flu vaccines available.

Vaccinations may be available from a number of locations, including:

  • pharmacists
  • public health clinics
  • health care provider offices

For specific recommendations in your region and locations to be vaccinated, contact your local public health unit for more information and to book an appointment.

Book a vaccination appointment

Learn more about:

  • COVID-19: How provinces and territories make decisions about how, who and when to vaccinate

Vaccination after having COVID-19

It's safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine following infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccination is very important, even if you've had COVID-19. While infection alone provides some protection, vaccination after infection:

  • helps improve the immune response
  • provides better and longer-lasting protection

Evidence indicates that waiting a period of time after infection with the COVID-19 virus before getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help improve the immune response.

When to consult with a health care provider

If you have questions about getting your vaccine, consult with a health care provider, including if you:

  • have questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccination
  • are unsure if or when you should receive a COVID-19 vaccine
  • are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19

Learn more:

  • COVID-19: Vaccine safety and side effects

Related links

  • The facts about COVID-19 vaccines (poster)
  • COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada
  • COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth
  • COVID-19: Proof of vaccination
Vaccines for COVID-19: How to get vaccinated (2024)

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