Everyone who can get it, should get it

Evidence is clear: Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19.

It is much safer to get vaccinated than it is to get infected. Vaccines make our immune systems stronger by building antibodies to fight off disease. Because COVID-19 is a new virus, no one has pre-existing immunity.

Delaying or refusing vaccination carries serious risks, including severe illness, hospitalization and death.

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All Albertans 5 and older can book their vaccinations now.

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Bust the myths

Busting myths is about being armed with the facts.
Get the facts you need on current topics to stay safe.

Fertility and pregnancyIvermectin and alternative treatmentsChild safety

Get the facts

All approved vaccines are researched until proven safe

Thanks to worldwide collaboration, COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly without compromising safety by building on decades of research on these vaccine technologies. Every approved vaccine has met Health Canada's strict standards for safety, quality and effectiveness.

Getting vaccinated protects against variants.

The vaccines are effective against all variants All viruses evolve over time through genetic variations. These changes can result in new “variants” of the original virus and may have different properties than the original virus, such as increased transmissibility or the ability to cause more severe disease. Vaccination does not cause worse variants.

Even the young and healthy should get vaccinated

Anyone can get seriously ill from COVID-19 and end up in the hospital or worse. Thousands of Albertans have died, including many young, previously healthy people.

The vaccine and your personal beliefs

Many faith leaders around the world have spoken about the moral duty of their faith communities to be immunized to prevent spread. The vaccines approved in Canada do not contain gelatin, pork products or fetal tissue.

If you've had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated

Evidence suggests immunity after infection may not last very long or be as effective against variants. Getting vaccinated will strengthen your immunity to give you the best protection.

Getting vaccinated won't hurt your paycheque

COVID-19 vaccines are free in Alberta. Employees are also entitled to take up to 3 hours of paid leave for each vaccination appointment under the Employment Standards Code.

Facts about fertility

Want to learn more? Listen to the recording of the Vaccines, pregnancy and fertility telephone town hall.

The vaccine and your pregnancy

There is no evidence that vaccines are harmful when pregnant or breastfeeding. In fact, everyone who is pregnant should get fully vaccinated as they have a higher risk of severe outcomes from variants.

The vaccine and your menstrual cycle

Menstruation is a complex process that can be influenced by external factors. The lining of the uterus is an active part of the immune system. Vaccines activate the immune system, which can temporarily alter menstruation for a single cycle near the time of vaccination. However, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines alter menstruation long term.

The vaccine and your fertility

The vaccines do not impact fertility, damage the placenta or increase the risk of pre-term birth or stillbirth. The vaccines safely help your body produce immunity against the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and protect you from COVID-19 infection and severe outcomes. They do not target syncytin-1, which is a different protein involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy.

The vaccine and sperm production

The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect sperm production, but the COVID-19 disease does. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect male fertility.

Facts about alternative treatments

Doctors cannot use unauthorized treatments

All physicians have an ethical and professional responsibility to only use treatments approved by Health Canada. Approval is only granted following rigorous review to ensure the drug is safe and effective. It can be extremely dangerous for a physician to use a medicine or drug to treat COVID-19 that has not be approved or authorized. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Ivermectin does not prevent or reduce COVID-19

Ivermectin is a useful drug, but not a treatment for COVID-19. It is used to treat parasites, not viruses. All high-quality reviews found no evidence it reduces the severity of COVID-19 illness. In fact, 2 studies touting its benefits have been retracted. India revoked its approval of Ivermectin as a treatment in September after experts found it had little to no effect on mortality or recovery time. Taking Ivermectin for unauthorized uses or without doctor’s supervision can have serious, even fatal, consequences.

Facts about the virus

Want to learn more? Listen to the recording of the Vaccines for children 5 to 11 telephone town hall.

The vaccine, the virus, and your child

To date, 16% of all COVID-19 cases in Alberta were in children and youth age 5 to 19. While most symptoms in children and youth are mild, some can get very sick and suffer long-lasting effects, especially if they have pre-existing conditions. Vaccines safely protect children and youth from getting sick. Side effects in children are extremely rare. There is no evidence linking vaccine and autism.

The vaccine, the virus, and your DNA

Vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 or cause you to shed the virus. The coronavirus is coated in spike proteins that allow it to easily infect human cells and replicate. The vaccine instructs your body to produce spike proteins that teach your immune system to recognize and fight off the spikes on the coronavirus. Once your immune system recognizes the coronavirus, it gets rid of all parts of the vaccine naturally. The vaccine does not alter your DNA.

COVID-19 and the long-term effects

Some people who have had COVID-19, whether they have needed hospitalization or not, continue to experience symptoms, including fatigue, respiratory and neurological symptoms. These long lasting symptoms have been named “long COVID” and are being closely studied in Alberta, and around the world.

It takes time to build immunity

Your body needs time to build its defenses – at least 2 weeks after the first dose. During that time, you are not yet protected from COVID-19.

Protecting the health system

Hospital beds and cancelled surgeries

Alberta’s health care system is always busy. AHS has been able to increase Alberta’s acute care and ICU capacity during all 5 waves of the pandemic, adding new surge inpatient hospital beds, and repurposing existing beds so that they can be used for patients with COVID as needed.

However, healthcare resources are finite. AHS can only open additional beds if they have the physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide care to the patients in those beds.

When COVID-19 sends a lot of people to hospital, AHS is forced to postpone some scheduled surgeries to redeploy surgical teams to our intensive care and critical care beds. Doing this also reduces the number of surgical patients who may require ICU care after their surgery.

Getting vaccinated matters

Alberta has a limited number of hospital and intensive care unit beds available at one time. During the fall and winter seasons, a rise in COVID-19 cases helped create surges in people needing hospital care. Most of these people had not gotten 2 doses of vaccine.

Alberta more than doubled the number of ICU beds available to treat these patients, but doing so meant postponing surgeries for thousands of Albertans and shifting health care resources away from other patients.

How the vaccines work

All vaccines offered in Alberta have been fully approved by Health Canada and have full authorization under the Food and Drug Regulations. All 3 vaccines help our bodies fight off the virus, but use different ways to get the attention of our immune systems.

  • Moderna/Pfizer vs. AstraZeneca

    Moderna and Pfizer

    These are the most common vaccines right now. They use an mRNA technology to teach our body how make antibodies that fight COVID-19. Our body naturally gets rid of the mRNA. Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.


    Only offered if you can’t take Moderna or Pfizer. It uses a viral vector technology. This means instructions about how to fight off COVID-19 are carried by a harmless common cold virus. The virus in the vaccine can't make us sick and our bodies will naturally get rid of it.

  • Vaccine ingredients

    In addition to active medicinal ingredients, there are small amounts of other ingredients that help keep vaccines safe. You may have heard that some vaccine ingredients are harmful, but that is only true at much higher amounts than those in vaccines. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines do not contain egg. Vaccine ingredients and adverse reactions are listed on the Health Canada website.

  • Side effects

    It is normal to have some minor side effects after your vaccine. It's a sign the vaccine is working and your body is building protection. Common side effects include tiredness, chills, pain, redness, swelling and itchiness where the vaccine was given. Serious side effects are rare. Overall, 99.98% of vaccines administered in Alberta had no serious side effects. Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

  • Breakthrough cases

    Two doses will protect most people from getting severely sick, having to go to the hospital or dying if they do catch the virus. Booster doses are recommended at least 5 months after the last dose to increase the level of protection against severe outcomes. However, no vaccine is 100% effective.

What you can do

  • Get vaccinated to protect yourself and reduce your risk of getting infected.
  • Fact check the information you read and only share reliable sources.
  • Have friends or loved ones concerned about getting the vaccine? Listen and share the facts with them.
  • Seen a myth or conflicting information circulating online in Alberta? Let us know so we can help address it.

Have questions?

If you have questions about the vaccine and your health, consult your doctor or contact Health Link 811.

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