Ask the experts video series: COVID-19 vaccines questions

Medical experts answer common questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

You can also check out their reasons for getting vaccinated.

On this page

How do I know a COVID-19 vaccine is safe for my youth without long-term data?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person and their child are seated in their home. The person speaks directly to the camera: How do I know a COVID-19 vaccine is safe for my youth without long-term data?

Cut to a doctor in an office, the window behind her shows a person in a full-body protection suit working in a lab; then a super appears:

  • Dr. Alyson Kelvin
  • Virologist and Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and the IWK Children’s Hospital, Nova Scotia

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Alyson Kelvin: Although mRNA vaccine technology may seem new, it has been studied for decades, rigorously assessed by experts such as myself in Canada, as well as around the world. All vaccines have potential risks, but most side effects are mild and occur within weeks of vaccination. Importantly, all vaccines are monitored in Canada for as long as they’re in use, and it is clear that the long-term health risks of COVID-19 are greater than that of mRNA vaccines.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • How effective are COVID-19 vaccines for youth?
  • Do COVID-19 vaccines cause different side effects in youth compared to adults?
  • Should youth get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to them?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Should youth get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available to them?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person and their child are seated in their home. The person speaks directly to the camera: Should youth get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to them?

Cut to a doctor in an office, the window behind her shows a person in a full-body protection suit working in a lab; then a super appears:

  • Dr. Alyson Kelvin
  • Virologist and Assistant Professor
  • Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and the IWK Children’s Hospital, Nova Scotia

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Alyson Kelvin: Before being approved for use in youth in Canada, vaccines are carefully assessed by Health Canada to determine their safety, quality, and how well they work. Clinical trial data indicates that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing disease in youth. Vaccination can also help youth get back to what they love and need for their mental health and well-being.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • How effective are COVID-19 vaccines for youth?
  • How do I know a COVID-19 vaccine is safe for my youth without long-term data?
  • Will youth get the same dose of COVID-19 vaccine as adults?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Do I need to get the vaccine if I've already had and recovered from COVID-19?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person seated on a chair speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Do I need to get the vaccine if I've already had and recovered from COVID-19?

Cut to a doctor in a library, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Marc-André Langlois
  • Executive Director
  • Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network (CoVaRR-Net)
  • Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Marc-André Langlois: Yes, absolutely. If you’ve previously had a COVID-19 infection you can receive both COVID-19 vaccine doses. It’s not clear how long protection lasts after an infection, and the risk of re-infection with a variant is not clear at this time. Vaccination remains one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19 and its variants. Vaccines, in combination with public health and individual measures, will reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

How long does it take for a COVID-19 vaccine to work after I've received it?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person seated in a living room speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: How long does it take for a vaccine to work after I’ve received it?

Cut to a doctor in a library, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Marc-André Langlois
  • Executive Director
  • Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network (CoVaRR-Net)
  • Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Marc-André Langlois: Regardless of which vaccine you get, the first dose provides good protection from getting the virus and excellent protection from severe disease. Protection starts to build within a few days and peaks at about 3 weeks after receiving that dose of the vaccine.

It is important to get the second dose as this further boosts the immune response and is essential for longer lasting protection and better protection against the variants.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Can the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person seated in a living room speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Can the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?

Cut to a doctor in an exam room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Darine El-Chaâr
  • Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist
  • The Ottawa Hospital

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Darine El-Chaâr: Multiple independent studies have shown that there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility issues for anyone.

If you are pregnant, even early on, you are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Evidence shows that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe and recommended if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine
The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Will the COVID-19 vaccines protect me against new variants?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person sitting in a living room speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Will the COVID-19 vaccines protect me against new variants?

Cut to a doctor in an exam room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Kumanan Wilson
  • Internal Medicine Physician
  • The Ottawa Hospital

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson: Our understanding of COVID-19 variants is changing all the time. Research is ongoing to determine if new variants affect how effective the authorized vaccines are at preventing infection and disease.

Even if a COVID-19 vaccine isn’t as effective against a variant, people who have received two doses will have better protection against both getting the virus and getting sick from the virus. That’s why it’s so important to get your second dose.

The vaccine also protects against variants in another way. The more a virus spreads to people, the greater chance it may mutate and potentially become a variant. The more people who are vaccinated, the better to help slow the spread and reduce the chance of new variants.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Are there any ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines that I should be concerned about?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera: Are there any ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines that I should be concerned about?

Cut to a doctor in an examination room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Ayesha Raza
  • Family Physician, Women’s Health Specialist
  • Centre Francophone de Toronto

The doctor responds to the question.

Dr. Ayesha Raza: Research and testing have shown the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines to be safe. They leave the body shortly after vaccination, like with all vaccines.

And as with all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines teach the body’s immune system to recognize and attack the virus that causes COVID-19 and helps to protect you if you’re exposed to the virus in the future.

There are small amounts of ingredients in the vaccines and each one has a specific purpose to make the vaccine work. The ingredient list for each vaccine is available online.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

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  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Are COVID-19 vaccines considered Halal?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera: Are COVID-19 vaccines considered Halal?

Cut to a doctor in an examination room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Ayesha Raza
  • Family Physician, Women’s Health Specialist
  • Centre Francophone de Toronto

The doctor responds to the question.

Dr. Ayesha Raza: Both the Muslim Medical Association of Canada and the Canadian Council of Imams have taken the position that the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca Oxford COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines are Halal and permissible in the Islamic faith.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain pork or pork products?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera: Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain pork or pork products?

Cut to a doctor in an examination room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Ayesha Raza
  • Family Physician, Women’s Health Specialist
  • Centre Francophone de Toronto

The doctor responds to the question.

Dr. Ayesha Raza: No, the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently authorized in Canada do not contain any gelatin or pork products.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Can I get a different vaccine for my second dose? Are there any possible new side effects?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person seated on a chair speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Can I get a different vaccine for my second dose? Are there any possible new side effects?

Cut to a doctor in an exam room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Anne Pham-Huy
  • Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist
  • Chair, Immunize Canada

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Anne Pham-Huy: It's important for people to get their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they're eligible. This will help protect them against COVID-19 and its variants.

mRNA vaccines can be used interchangeably, meaning either can be used as a second dose. mRNA vaccines use the same technology and provide excellent protection.

Now if you received the AstraZeneca vaccine for your first dose, it is recommended that you get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for your second dose, and this has been studied and proven to be safe and efficacious.

However, there is a possibility of increased short-term side effects when mixing COVID-19 vaccines, and this can include, maybe, your arm is more sore, more headaches, a bit of fatigue, and feeling ill. But luckily, these side effects are temporary and resolve without complications.

Vaccine interchangeability is not a new concept. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers have been used for a number of diseases when vaccine supply or public health programs change.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

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  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

What kind of testing was done before the COVID-19 vaccines were authorized in Canada?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person seated in a living room with children's toys in the background speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: What kind of testing was done before the COVID-19 vaccines were authorized in Canada?

Cut to a doctor in an exam room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Kumanan Wilson
  • Internal Medicine Physician
  • The Ottawa Hospital

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson: The COVID-19 vaccines went through the same types of testing as all other authorized vaccines in Canada.

Before a vaccine is tested in humans, it goes through laboratory and animal studies to assess its safety and its ability to protect from infection and disease. Then it goes through several phases of human clinical trials to further assess and confirm its safety and efficacy, including possible side effects.

Each COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada was tested on tens of thousands of volunteers in high quality randomized controlled trials before being authorized by Health Canada and made available in Canada.

Testing has to show that a vaccine is safe, effective and of high quality before it is authorized in Canada. There is ongoing monitoring of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines after they are made available.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person seated on a couch speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: How do we know that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

Cut to a doctor in an office, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Upton D. Allen
  • Bastable-Potts Chair in Infectious Diseases Research
  • Hospital for Sick Children

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Upton D. Allen: The COVID-19 vaccines were rigorously tested during their development and carefully reviewed by Health Canada. After people have received the vaccines, real-world effectiveness and safety are monitored. Any safety concerns are expected to be very rare.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • Do I need to get the second dose?
  • How was it possible to develop safe COVID-19 vaccines so quickly?
  • How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada.

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Watch the extended version: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

How was it possible to develop safe COVID-19 vaccines so quickly?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person standing in a living room speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: How was it possible to develop safe COVID-19 vaccines so quickly?

Cut to a doctor in an office, as she speaks a super appears:

  • Dr. Supriya Sharma
  • Chief Medical Advisor
  • Health Canada

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Supriya Sharma: The vaccines were available so quickly because of advances in science and technology, dedicated funding for research and development, and an incredible level of international collaboration, all the while making sure that no steps were skipped in either the development or the review.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
  • Do COVID-19 vaccines have side effects?
  • Can someone get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada.

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Do COVID-19 vaccines have side effects?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person standing in a room speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Do COVID-19 vaccines have side effects?

Cut to a doctor in their living room; a super appears:

  • Dr. Noni E. MacDonald
  • Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases
  • Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Noni E. MacDonald: Serious reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, but mild to moderate reactions are common, such as pain or redness at the injection site, a mild fever, headache, tiredness, muscle aches....

Don't worry.

These are expected responses to the vaccine, and last only a few days.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work?
  • How are COVID-19 vaccines monitored in Canada?
  • Why did you get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada.

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Watch the extended version: Are there common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

What are the differences between the vaccines? Which one is the best vaccine for me?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: What are the differences between the vaccines, and which one is the best one for me?

Cut to a surgeon in an operating room; then a super appears:

  • Dr. Kal Belay
  • Acute Care and Minimally Invasive General Surgeon
  • William Osler Health System

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Kal Belay: That’s a great question. Simply put: all of Canada’s authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide a high level of protection against severe outcomes of COVID-19, so I encourage you to get the vaccine at the earliest opportunity.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • Do COVID-19 vaccines have side effects?
  • I’m young and healthy. Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • How was it possible to develop safe COVID-19 vaccines so quickly?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

Cut to a doctor in their living room; a super appears:

  • Dr. Noni E. MacDonald
  • Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases
  • Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Noni E. MacDonald: COVID vaccines help our bodies develop an immune response to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness and potential bad complications that that virus can bring. The vaccine provides instructions to the immune system so that the immune system is able to develop that protective response. It gets all your soldiers ready to get out to fight against that virus.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Do I need to get the second dose?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Do I need to get the second dose?

Cut to a doctor in an operating room; a super appears:

  • Dr. Stanley Vollant
  • General Surgeon
  • Notre-Dame Hospital, Montréal

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Stanley Vollant: The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine offers you some protection, but not as much as you get from two doses. The second dose of the vaccine gives you a better, stronger and a longer protection from it. You want your immune system to produce very strong and high level of antibodies so that your body can fight it. But, you have to take both doses.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Can someone get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Can someone get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

Cut to a doctor in an operating room; a super appears:

  • Dr. Kal Belay
  • Acute Care and Minimally Invasive General Surgeon
  • William Osler Health System

The doctor responds to the person's question.

Dr. Kal Belay: You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine because none of the authorized vaccines in Canada have the virus that causes COVID-19 in them. Some of the side effects of the vaccine such as injection site discomfort, fevers or muscle ache are normal symptoms related to the activation of the immune system by the vaccine as the body readies to defend itself.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Without long-term data, how do we know that the vaccine is safe?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: Without long-term data, how do we know that the vaccine is safe?

Cut to a doctor in an office, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Supriya Sharma
  • Chief Medical Advisor
  • Health Canada

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Supriya Sharma: Vaccines are carefully studied in controlled clinical trials with tens of thousands of people. But, even before a single person receives a vaccine in a clinical trial there’s an incredible amount of research that goes into the development of the vaccines from lab studies, animal studies and everything that we know about vaccines in general. And what we know is that the vast majority of side effects from vaccines are minor and last only for a few days. But, we continue to monitor all the vaccines for an extended period of time and continue to do that as long as they’re used in Canada.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

How are side effects and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines monitored in Canada?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: How are side effects and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines monitored in Canada?

Cut to a doctor in an office, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Supriya Sharma
  • Chief Medical Advisor
  • Health Canada

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Supriya Sharma: Vaccines are among the most closely monitored medications anywhere. Health Canada works closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and public health officials to make sure that all vaccines are tracked and monitored for any side effects. We not only look for the safety of those vaccines but also the effectiveness or how well they work. And if any issues come up, we’ll act on it as soon as possible to make sure that those vaccines can continue to be used safely and effectively.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We've got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

Watch the extended version: How are the COVID-19 vaccines being monitored for safety?

I'm young and healthy. Why should I get vaccinated if I'm not at risk?

Transcript

A super appears on a pink background: COVID-19 vaccine questions

A person speaks directly to the camera to ask a question: I’m young and I’m healthy, why do I need to get the vaccine if I’m not at risk?

Cut to a surgeon in an operating room, then a super appears:

  • Dr. Kal Belay
  • Acute Care and Minimally Invasive General Surgeon
  • William Osler Health System

The doctor responds to the person’s question.

Dr. Kal Belay: COVID-19 can have life-threatening complications and there’s no way to tell how it will affect you. The vaccination is an important tool to help stop this pandemic and help us get back to normal life.

Cut to a white screen with a pink border: Got questions?

Pop-up speech boxes appear with the following questions:

  • Can someone get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
  • How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
  • Do I need to get the second dose?

Cut to a new white screen with a pink border:

  • Good.
  • We’ve got answers.
  • Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work?

Transcript

An animated collage of photos of men and women of varying ages and cultural backgrounds appears on-screen.

Text on-screen: What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work?

Text on-screen: mRNA Vaccines: COVID-19 Vaccines Explained

A doctor in business attire appears on-screen.

Text on-screen: Dr. Guillaume Poliquin, Acting Vice President, National Microbiology Laboratory

Dr. Poliquin: mRNA vaccines are a new type of technology that has been brought to bear in the fight against COVID-19. It is based on about 20 years worth of research and is a new way to deliver instructions to our bodies to protect ourselves against COVID-19.

Text on-screen: How do they work?

Dr. Poliquin: The end goal of any vaccine is to provide our body with a memory of a particular protein that we want to be able to neutralize or get rid of if we're exposed to it in the future. There are a couple of different ways to give our body that memory response but it all depends on getting a protein to interact with our immune system. mRNA vaccines represent a new way of delivering that protein by giving rather than the material itself, giving our cells the instructions necessary to make that protein. 

Text on-screen: What happens to the mRNA?

Dr. Poliquin: After the mRNA has done its job, after a few days, the mRNA naturally is degraded by the body and it completely disappears.

Text on-screen: mRNA vaccines cannot alter or change our DNA. Why not?

Dr. Poliquin: mRNA vaccines do ultimately enter the cell. That's where they do their work and they are translated. But it's important to remember that our DNA is actually contained even further inside of the cell, inside of the nucleus. mRNA vaccines never get into the nucleus. They never interact with our DNA, and they never have an opportunity to change our DNA.

Text on-screen: Got questions?

Three speech bubbles with questions appear on the screen.

Text on-screen: Are the vaccines safe? Are side effects common? Are the vaccines effective?

Text on-screen: Good. We've got answers. Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

What are viral vector-based vaccines and how do they work?

Transcript

An animated collage of photos of men and women of varying ages and cultural backgrounds appears on-screen.

Text on-screen: What are viral vector-based vaccines and how do they work?

Text on-screen: Viral Vector-Based Vaccines: COVID-19 Vaccines Explained

A doctor in business attire appears on-screen.

Text on-screen: Dr. Guillaume Poliquin, Acting Vice President, National Microbiology Laboratory

Dr. Poliquin: When developing a vaccine, we are trying to get a message to the immune system so that the immune system is able to develop a response and remember it to protect us in the future. In the case of viral vector-based vaccines, we are using a benign virus, as a good example something like an adenovirus, which causes a cough or a cold, as a way to package and deliver to the body that key message so that it is able to develop that response to protect us in the future.

Text on-screen: How does this type of vaccine provide protection against COVID-19?

Dr. Poliquin: When using the adenovirus vector, the inside of the virus has been replaced by a set of instructions. That set of instructions is what is used by the body in order to make the S-protein, and it is that S-protein and the antibody memory that's triggered by it that protects Canadians from COVID-19 in the future.

Text on-screen: Can the vaccine give you COVID-19?

Dr. Poliquin: No, viral based vaccines are not able to give individuals COVID-19. The vector itself is not able to replicate and it only contains one part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the one that causes COVID-19, specifically the instructions for the outside protein. It does not have any of the other materials inside that would be necessary for it to cause a COVID-19 infection.

Text on-screen: Got questions?

Three speech bubbles with questions appear on the screen.

Text on-screen: Are the vaccines safe? Are side effects common? Are the vaccines effective?

Text on-screen: Good. We've got answers. Canada.ca/covid-vaccine

The Canada wordmark with waving flag appears.

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