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Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are a lot of reasons why you should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Some reasons are personal, some reasons are for those close to you, and some are for your greater community, but all of them are for one core goal; beating COVID-19 and getting ourselves out of this pandemic. 

So, why should we get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Because vaccines save lives
Vaccines save millions of lives every year, making them one of the most important medical interventions in history. In fact, vaccines have saved more lives in Canada than any other medical intervention in the past 50 years. The COVID vaccines are no different, and they have been proven to provide strong protection for vaccinated people. Getting vaccinated dramatically reduces our chances of getting COVID-19 and provides near-perfect protection from hospitalization if we get COVID-19.
Because vaccines protect those around us
COVID-19 affects some people more seriously, and protecting at-risk people is one of the most important reasons to get vaccinated. You may know someone who is at risk, your friend may have a family member who is at risk, or you could pass an at-risk person next time you’re at the grocery store. It’s impossible to know how our connections cross with people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, which is why it’s so important to limit the spread of the virus by getting vaccinated. This pandemic affects all of us, and the only way out of this pandemic is if we take actions that protect all of us too.
Because the vaccines are safe
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Canada has had strong, in-depth vaccine safety measures in place for decades, and they exist to protect Canadians. These systems exist at the federal and provincial level, and they work together to analyze current scientific data to make recommendations and decisions for the country and our provinces. The systems have been protecting Canadians for decades, and the COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same testing and approval process as other vaccines approved in Canada. COVID-19 is a deadly virus, and contracting the disease is drastically more dangerous than taking any of the safe vaccines that have been approved in Canada. 
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about why you should get the vaccine? That’s great, because we have answers for you! Check out these common questions we’ve received about why you should receive the vaccine, or head over to our full FAQ to learn more. Topics include:

Learn More
How to get vaccinated for COVID-19
Getting the vaccine is easy! If you live in BC you are able to, and encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is available to everyone regardless of citizenship or your immigration status in Canada. Please click here for more information.
What are COVID-19 vaccines?
COVID-19 vaccines protect against infection from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. The vaccines cause your body to produce antibodies that will help protect you from getting sick if exposed to the virus.

Currently, there are five COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • AstraZeneca & COVISHIELD
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)

Find this information in different languages in the HealthLinkBC File: COVID-19 Vaccines.

What are the vaccine side effects?

Vaccines are very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get COVID-19. The vaccines are not live virus vaccines and cannot give you COVID-19.

  • Common reactions to the vaccines may include soreness, redness, swelling and itchiness where the vaccine was given. For some people, these reactions may show up 8 or more days after getting the vaccine.
  • Other reactions may include tiredness, headache, fever, chills, muscle or joint soreness, swollen lymph nodes under the armpit, nausea and vomiting. These reactions are mild and generally last 1 to 2 days.
  • If you have concerns about any symptoms you develop after receiving the vaccine, speak with your health-care provider or call 8-1-1 for advice.
  • Rare cases of serious blood clots (about 1 in 50,000) have been reported after getting the first dose of AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD and Janssen vaccines. The rate after the second dose of AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD vaccine is about 1 in 600,000.  While the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 is more common in those who are older and those with certain chronic health conditions, this risk is lower for younger adults. Those who choose not to get an AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD or Janssen vaccine will be able to get another COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) to complete their vaccine series. The AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD vaccines are not recommended for those under 30 years of age. The Janssen vaccine is not recommended for those under 18 years of age. 
  • Rare cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis) have been reported after getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. This has occurred more commonly after the second dose at a rate of about 1 per 100,000 second doses, and has been observed mostly in males under 30 years of age.

What should I do after getting the vaccine?

Please read the COVID-19 vaccination aftercare handout.

It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because about 1 in a million people can have a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your healthcare provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine (adrenaline) and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Always report serious or unexpected reactions to our health-care provider. 

Where else can I go for more information?


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infection of the airways and lungs caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, tiredness and loss of smell or taste. While some people with COVID-19 may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, others can require hospitalization and may die. Serious illness is more common in those who are older and those with certain chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. For some people, symptoms of COVID-19 can last for weeks or longer. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on a person’s health are unknown.

How is COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, talking and singing. It can also be spread by touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Date last reviewed: 
Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021