COVID-19 has changed life as we know it.

COVID-19 has been and continues to be a real risk to Black communities.
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Dr. Onye Nnorom
“Your best bet given what has happened to us in this pandemic really is to get the vaccine.”
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COVID-19 in black communities.

Black people have made up 13% of the COVID-19 cases in Toronto, with a higher risk of hospitalization and death (City of Toronto, 2021; Statistics Canada, 2021).
21% of Black Canadians reported knowing someone who died from COVID-19 (Innovative Research Group, 2021).
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Vaccine Clinics

Vaccination is one of the ways we can protect ourselves from COVID-19. For information on where you can get vaccinated, visit our resource library below.


What are COVID-19 variants?
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Viruses can mutate, or go through changes. COVID-19 variants are mutations (changes) to SARS-CoV-2 that may make the virus more successful at spreading and causing severe disease. To date, variants such as Delta have made their way to Canada.
What are the different COVID-19 vaccines?
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In Canada, four vaccines are approved for use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca & Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Pfizer-BioNTech - An mRNA vaccine that is 95% effective 1 week after the second dose (requires two doses). This is the only vaccine approved for use in individuals 12 - 18 years old.  

Moderna - An mRNA vaccine that is 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19, beginning two weeks after the second dose (requires two doses).

AstraZeneca - a viral vector-based vaccine that is 62% effective at preventing COVID-19, beginning two weeks after the second dose (requires two doses).

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) - a viral vector-based vaccine that is 66% effective in preventing COVID-19, beginning two weeks after injection (requires one dose).

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
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The vaccine does not prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it protects you from severe illness, hospitalization and death if you do get COVID-19.
Should I still get the vaccine if I had COVID-19?
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If you had COVID-19 you should still get the vaccine once you have recovered and are eligible. This is because you may not be immune to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and you could get infected again.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
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The vaccine tells our immune system to make antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that identify specific viruses so they can be cleared from our bodies. The antibodies help to protect us from getting sick if we are exposed to COVID-19. You cannot catch COVID-19 by getting the vaccine.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
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Yes. The vaccine has been tested for safety, and Health Canada has approved it for use in Canada. The vaccine is safe for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma.
How did they create and test the vaccine so quickly?
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mRNA technology used for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been in development for over 10 years and has been used in other medical treatments like cancer. This combined with global funding and collaborations between governments and researchers allowed for the vaccine to be created much faster.
Were Black people in the trials for the vaccine?
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Pfizer and Moderna trials had 30,000 - 40,000 participants, while typically vaccines have a test population of 6,000 people. Black participants were 9.3% of the population in the study. Both vaccines had 20% people of colour and other minorities in their studies.
Are there any side effects?
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The studies that were done show good results, with few serious side effects. Most side effects happen between 2 - 3 days after getting the vaccine and up to 6 weeks after. When the studies were done, they checked people for up to 2 months after they got their vaccines.

The vaccine can cause pain or redness at the injection site, headache, fever, and muscle aches, but this doesn’t mean you will get any or all of these side effects. Most side effects will go away in a few days. A nurse will monitor you for any reactions for 15 - 30 minutes after you get vaccinated.
Once I’m vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask?
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Yes. While the vaccines protect your family members or friends from becoming very ill if they get COVID-19, there is a small chance you can still get COVID-19 from them and then give it to others. After you get a vaccine, it will still be extremely important to continue to practice all the preventive measures that have been recommended, including washing your hands, maintaining a safe physical distance, wearing a mask, and staying home when sick.

Find out what you can do to help your community.