Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

A vaccine is one of the keys to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in Canada on December 23, 2020. Canadians started getting vaccine on January 3rd, 2021.


The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is coming to your community soon. Here are some questions people often ask. Learn the answers and be prepared.


What is mRNA?


The Moderna vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. This stands for ‘messenger ribonucleic acid’ or ‘messenger RNA’. Messenger RNA is a tiny molecule that carries instructions. Its job is to tell cells how to make proteins.


How does the Moderna mRNA vaccine work?


“Health Canada describes mRNA vaccines as follows. mRNA vaccines teach your cells how to make a protein that will create an immune response. The vaccines do this without using the live coronavirus that causes COVID-19. After getting the vaccine, your body will start making antibodies. The antibodies made will help fight an infection if COVID-19 enters your body in the future.”


Learn more about mRNA vaccines here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/mrna-vaccine-basics.html


Will it change my DNA?


No. mRNA from the vaccine never enters the part of your cell where your DNA is. It does not affect or interact with your DNA.


Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?


No. There is no way to catch COVID-19 from this vaccine because it is not made with the virus. It only uses information from the virus. If you are already infected with COVID-19 when you get your vaccine, it cannot protect you from getting sick.


I already had COVID-19. Should I still have the vaccine?


Talk with your health team first if:

  • you are ill with COVID-19 right now, or

  • you have been very ill with COVID-19 in the past 3 months.


Is the Moderna vaccine effective?


Yes. In people younger than 65, it is 94.1% effective in preventing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. The amount of protection for people 65 and older is a little less – 86.4%.

You will get 2 doses of the vaccine. The level of protection increases up to two weeks after your second dose.


As COVID-19 vaccine is new, we will be learning much more about it. This information is accurate as of January 22, 2021.


Can I stop wearing a mask after I get vaccinated?


No. You should keep practising all of the public health measures, such as keeping your distance and wearing a mask. The vaccine protects people from getting sick, but we do not know yet if it protects them from getting the virus and spreading it to others. We will know more about this as time goes on.


How long will it provide protection for?


The vaccine is new, so we do not know how long the protection lasts. We will know more as time goes on.


Who can have this vaccine?


It is for people 18+ years of age.


What about children under 18 years old?


The first round of clinical trials did not include children. But studies are taking place now. We expect that the vaccine will be safe for those under 18 and will have more info soon.


If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I have this vaccine?


Yes. We still need to learn more about the vaccine and pregnant or breastfeeding women. But for now, talk over the risks with your health team. Weigh these risks against the risks to you and your baby of getting a severe case of COVID-19.


I have allergies. Can I have the vaccine?


People with a history of allergies should speak with their doctor or nurse before getting the vaccine. Be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes at the clinic after getting the shot. They will watch you carefully for any problems.


How is the vaccine given?


You get it with a needle in your upper arm. If you started with Moderna vaccine, the second dose must also be Moderna vaccine.


You will get 2 doses, about 28 days apart.


What are the common side effects?


Common side effects include pain or tenderness and redness in your arm where you got the needle. Less common side effects include tiredness, headache, body pain, chills, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever. You may also get swelling in your armpit on the side where you got your needle.


Side effects can happen after either dose but may be more after the second dose. This is because the vaccine has already geared up the immune system to build protection.

All of these common side effects go away on their own in a day or so. They mean that your immune system is working.


If your side effects are more severe than this, see your community health nurse right away. Serious side effects are rare.


As COVID-19 vaccine is new, we will be learning much more about it. This information is accurate as of January 22, 2021.


After I have the vaccine, can I return to ‘normal’ life?


Even after getting the vaccine, we must all keep following the public health measures. The vaccine protects people from getting sick, but we do not know yet if it protects them from getting the virus and spreading it to others. It will take time for enough people to be vaccinated for the virus to stop spreading. And we do not know yet how long the vaccine lasts before we need to get another shot.



References

4 views

Recent Posts

See All

Chiefs of Ontario

New information is released daily. Subscribe to be notified of latest COVID-19 updates and resources.

©2020 by Chiefs of Ontario.