Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free. Everyone who is eligible is offered the vaccine.

  • The Moderna vaccine (mRNA) is recommended to all people aged 18 years and older.
  • The Pfizer vaccine (mRNA) is recommended to all people aged 12 years of age and older.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

You need two doses of COVID vaccine. The first dose provides good protection (about 80%). The best and most long lasting protection occurs after you have had 2 doses (about 95%). It takes about 14 days after the second dose for your body to produce the best protection.

Who should NOT get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You should not have the vaccine if you:

  • Have an allergy to parts of these COVID-19 vaccines (allergies to medications such as laxatives or skin creams)
  • Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine

You should not have the vaccine right now, if you:

  • Have had another immunization within the past 2 weeks
  • Have symptoms of COVID-19 disease, or
  • Been in close contact with another person with COVID-19 disease, or
  • If you have been told to isolate at home. When your symptoms have resolved or your isolation is over, then make an appointment to have the immunization.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

VERY COMMON: Most people will have some of these side effects:

  • Sore arm
  • Feeling tired
  • Mild headache


  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in armpit

Stay near your immunizer for 15 minutes after your immunization, in case you have a rare, severe allergic reaction.

Managing COVID-19 Side Effects

  • To reduce soreness and swelling, put a cool, wet cloth on the sore arm
  • If needed, you can take medication for pain or fever

Call 403-734-5616 to talk to a nurse if you develop:

  • A severe reaction that lasts more than 3 days, or
  • A high fever (over 39C), or
  • Any other unusual reaction

Here is our COVID-19 Vaccine Q & A series with Dr. Thomas Fung. Dr. Fung is a family physician at Siksika Health Services and is a familiar, friendly face in the community! These questions were generated from community members regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.