Immunization by vaccination is a safe and effective way of preventing illness caused by infectious diseases. The COVID-19 vaccines are intended to protect you and those around you from developing COVID-19, and to make your symptoms milder if you are infected.
As we move towards widespread, lasting control of COVID-19 through safe and effective vaccines, it is essential for everyone in Canada to continue following public health recommendations to prevent further spread.
Humber recognizes that vaccination is a critical component of the overall public health response to the Pandemic.
The mask mandate at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber will remain in place until June 30, 2022. Well-fitted masks that cover the nose and chin will continue to be required within any indoor college facilities.
Details are available on humber.ca/updates.
Everyone, including those who are vaccinated, should physically distance when possible, practice frequent hand hygiene, wear face masks, and follow any additional measures laid out by public health authorities.
DISCLAIMER: This page is not meant to provide personal medical advice and is being provided as a resource based on available advice from appropriate public health authorities and other government resources. Talk to your doctor/medical provider to get advice specific to you.
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
Humber-Specific Vaccination Information
- If I am fully vaccinated, do I need to adhere to other safety measures, such as wearing a mask?
Yes, everyone must adhere to all existing public health measures and College health and safety protocols, including current requirements to wear a mask indoors and physical distancing, as applicable.
The mask mandate at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber will remain in place until June 30, 2022. The College is making this decision based on recent guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and out of an abundance of caution as we transition to the summer term. Well-fitting masks that cover the nose and chin will continue to be required within any indoor college facilities.
Beyond June, there may continue to be situations in which other personal protective equipment (PPE) is required. If your learning or working environment fits these criteria, masks or other PPE will be provided to you by your faculty or department.
Where do students/employees go for more information?
- Students should only email email@example.com if think they may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- Employees are to speak with their manager or contact the HR Support Centre.
General Vaccine Information
How do I get the vaccine?
Members of the Humber/UofGH community are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine as recommended by public health. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Eligible residents can book an appointment at immunization clinics in Toronto using the province’s vaccination registration system or by calling the Provincial booking system at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Find a clinic location.
- Is a booster required to be considered fully vaccinated?
At this time, a booster shot is not required to be considered fully vaccinated as per Humber’s policy.
Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?
There are the 2 types of vaccines: mRNA (messenger RNA vaccine: Comirnaty (Pfizer - 2 doses) SpikeVax (Moderna - 2 doses) & viral vector - Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD - 2 doses) and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson - 1 dose). None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada use the live virus that causes COVID-19. It usually takes the body approximately two weeks to build immunity/develop antibodies. after receiving a vaccine. It is possible that someone could become infected with the COVID-19 virus before or just after getting the vaccine and get sick. This happens because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection in the body.
What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?
- All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in Canada are safe and effective at reducing the risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines. You can also find additional facts about COVID-19 vaccinations from this Public Health Agency of Canada page.
- All COVID-19 vaccines in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely to get COVID-19. Learn more about recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Based on government and health information about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you get COVID-19.
- Experts continue to conduct studies to learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
- In addition to protecting you, getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Should I get the vaccine if I have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past?
Information provided regarding vaccine safety suggests that it is safe and beneficial to receive the vaccination even after having tested positive for COVID-19, but individuals with such questions or concerns should speak to their own doctors/health providers to determine what is best for them.
I think I have a low risk of contracting COVID-19; do I need to be vaccinated?
Anyone, at any age, can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die.
According to the World Health Organization, asymptomatic people infected with the virus can be contagious, and the virus can spread from them to other people. For these reasons, it is crucial to consider getting vaccinated, which may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
There is no evidence that any of the current COVID-19 vaccines can completely stop people from being infected and consequently prevent transmission. However, all approved vaccines in Canada have nearly 100% protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death.
Can I stop following public health guidelines if I am vaccinated?
No. You will still need to follow public health measures, including wearing masks within Humber buildings.
Effectiveness and Safety of Vaccines
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Vaccines must be tested to ensure they are safe and effective before being authorized for use in Canada. Once a vaccine has been approved for use in Canada, it is monitored for:
- effectiveness (how well it works) in people
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada share responsibility for ongoing monitoring, which also involves:
- provincial, territorial and local public health authorities
- health-care professionals
- the vaccine industry
- the public
Information on vaccine safety can be found here.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective?
The data shows that all authorized vaccines work well at preventing serious illness requiring hospitalization and at preventing serious illness resulting in death.
All vaccination will reduce the burden of illness and death from COVID-19.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine have side effects?
According to Health Canada, most people who receive vaccines have no or mild side effects, but like any medicine, some people may experience some. Common side effects such as sore arm, muscle ache, headache or mild fever may occur, usually lasting only a few days.
These types of side effects are expected and indicate the vaccine is working to produce protection. As with any medicines and vaccines, allergic reactions are rare but can occur after receiving a vaccine.
Can mRNA vaccines change my DNA?
According to Health Canada, messenger RNA (mRNA) is not able to alter or modify a person's genetic makeup (DNA). This is because the mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the cell's nucleus, where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body's natural defences to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Information about mRNA vaccines, how they work, safety, effectiveness, monitoring can be found here.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from new strains of the virus?
According to Health Canada, while early data suggests that these new variants may be more transmissible, to date, there is no evidence that they cause more severe disease or have any impact on antibody response or vaccine effectiveness. However, more research is required to confirm these findings, and the Canadian and global medical, public health, and research communities are actively evaluating these mutations.
Learn more about variants, including the effectiveness of vaccines currently known, on the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases Website.
How do I know there will not be long-term side effects from the vaccine?
According to the Canadian Red Cross, most of vaccine side effects occur shortly after receiving a vaccine, not months or years later. Once a vaccine is approved, scientists and government agencies continue to monitor its safety to identify rare side effects. These monitoring efforts also focus on vulnerable people, including people with specific medical conditions or pregnant women.