COVID-19 vaccines provide you with immunity to COVID-19. They help prevent illness if you are exposed to the virus and lessen severe symptoms. There are four vaccines that have been approved for use in Canada:
- AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, while AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD and Janssen are viral vector vaccines. Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD are given as two dose shots. Janssen is only one shot. For more information on COVID-19 vaccines please see HealthLinkBC File #124: COVID-19 Vaccines.
For more information on the vaccine approval process, safety and effectiveness please see:
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Monitoring vaccine uptake, safety and effectiveness
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Vaccine approval process
BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan
BC’s four phase COVID-19 immunization plan is underway. To ensure BC’s population is being vaccinated efficiently, the most vulnerable members are being immunized first. To learn more, please see the Government of BC: COVID-19 Immunization Plan.
Getting a Vaccine
The vaccine is available for free to all eligible British Columbians. Check BC’s COVID-19 Immunization plan to determine if you are eligible to register for the vaccine. Once it is your turn to register, connect with your health authority to book an appointment. For more information, see:
There are very few reasons someone should not get the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals with specific health concerns, including allergies, pregnancy and breastfeeding, see:
For people aged 16 to 74 years of age who are clinically extremely vulnerable, learn more about booking your appointment at Government of BC: Vaccines for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
If you have any questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, please see:
- ImmunizeBC: COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
- BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 Vaccine
After you get a vaccine, it is important to continue to follow public health recommendations including:
- Cleaning your hands regularly
- Practicing physical distancing
- Wearing a mask
- Staying home when sick.
Everyone who receives the vaccine still needs to follow public health orders and guidance. For more information, see BC Centre for Disease Control: Vaccination Aftercare.
Last updated: March 24, 2021
The information provided in the COVID-19 Immunization Health Feature has been adapted from the BCCDC: COVID-19 Vaccine, ImmunizeBC: COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions, Government of BC: Vaccine appointments for seniors, Government of BC: Vaccines for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and BC Centre for Disease Control: Vaccine Considerations webpages, accessed Mar 24, 2021.