Answers to Common COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

Questions about First Doses

Can I choose which vaccine I get?  How do I know what one will be offered to me?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines (both are mRNA vaccines) are being administered by Public Health Nursing at COVID-19 immunization clinics across the province. There may be only one of these vaccines available at the time you have your appointment. If you have an allergy to any of the components of either of the COVID-19 vaccines, you should provide that information when making your appointment.

The AstraZeneca/CoviShield vaccine is being offered by select pharmacies to those 55 years of age and older.

I have a health condition can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) state that COVID-19 vaccines may be offered to individuals who are immune suppressed or have an autoimmune disorder in the authorized age group. Individuals who are immune suppressed, have an autoimmune disorder or an underlying medical condition should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine as long as informed consent is given.

Informed consent should include information about the lack of evidence on the use of the COVID-19 vaccines in these populations.

You may choose to be vaccinated, particularly if you are at increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness from the virus. If you have any concerns, you should consult your primary care provider before getting the vaccine.

I was diagnosed with Guillian Barre Syndrome (GBS) in the past. Should I get the vaccine?

Anyone can develop GBS, but people older than 50 are at greatest risk. In addition, about two-thirds of people who get GBS do so several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a lung or sinus illness. On very rare occasions, people develop GBS in the days or weeks after getting a vaccination. If you have been diagnosed in the past and are unsure if you should receive the vaccine you should contact your health care provider.

Vaccination guidelines (March 15, 2021) from GBS/CIDP Foundation of Canada includes recommendation of vaccination for all GBS patients “as soon as possible … unless a patient has developed their disease within 6 weeks of any prior vaccine.”

I have an autoimmune disorder or am taking medication that affect my immune system, should I be vaccinated?

We don’t yet know about the side effects or how well COVID-19 vaccines work in people with autoimmune/rheumatic diseases. People with these conditions were mostly excluded from COVID-19 vaccine trials. People whose immune system activity is lowered by medications may have somewhat less protection from vaccination, although most people are usually still protected.

I am pregnant and/or breastfeeding, should I be vaccinated?

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada state that "Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be offered vaccination at any time during pregnancy if they are eligible and no contraindications exist."

Pregnant and breastfeeding women may want to contact their prenatal care provider to assist in making decisions weighing the risks and benefits so that they might arrive at a well informed decision that is right for them as an individual.

Read the SOGC Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

I have been living in PEI for over a year and do not have a PEI health card.  Can I get the vaccine and, if so, how do I book an appointment?

You do not need a PEI health card to make your vaccine appointment. When it’s your turn, you can book your appointment through the online platform or call toll-free 1-844-975-3303. Click here to find out when you are eligible to book your appointment.

I will be out of the province when it is my turn book my vaccine appointment/receive the vaccine. Can I get it sooner?

Everyone living in PEI will have the opportunity to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of June. If you are out of the province before you are eligible to make your appointment you can book your appointment for when you return to the province.

We want to travel out of province; can we arrange to get our COVID-19 vaccine before others in our age group?

PEI’s COVID-19 immunization program is being rolled out in phases. Only individuals who are eligible during the current phase can make their vaccine appointment. Appointments are provided on a first come first serve basis.

When will the single dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson) be available in PEI?

The single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine is expected to be available to Canadians in May. More information about this vaccine will be available in the coming weeks.

Questions about Second Dose

How and when will I be notified of my second dose appointment?

Several weeks after your first vaccination at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, you will automatically receive notification from our partner at Skip The Waiting Room with details about your second dose appointment. You do not need to call the COVID-19 Immunization Program and we ask that you do not book your second dose appointment online as this is already being done for you.

If you received the AstraZeneca vaccine for your first dose through a partner pharmacy, you will automatically receive a notification from the same pharmacy with the details for your second dose appointment. You do not need to book a second dose appointment with the pharmacy as this is already being done for you.

Can I get a different vaccine product for my second dose?

At this time, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization does not recommend receiving (or mixing) different COVID-19 vaccines. Your second dose of the vaccine should be the same product as the first dose that you received.

I am under 55 years of age and received AstraZeneca vaccine for my first dose.  Can I get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for my second dose?

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) will be providing guidance on what vaccine individuals in this group will receive for their second dose. Anyone under 55 years of age who received the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose will be contacted by the administering pharmacy with more information about their second dose.

I am a seasonal resident/worker and got my first dose in another province.  How do I arrange to get my second dose in PEI?

It is recommended that everyone receive at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine where they are currently living as the limited supply of vaccine is being distributed to each province based their year-round population.

However, the vaccine supply is expected to increase significantly in Canada over the coming months and people who live in PEI during the summer months (seasonal residents) will be able to access their second dose of the vaccine in PEI as supply permits. It is important to bring your record of immunization with you to PEI. Currently, we are not scheduling second dose appointments, but please visit the vaccine appointment booking information page as you near the time for your second dose to find out how to make your appointment.   

We are moving away from PEI at the end of July. If there is a 16-week (4 month) interval between vaccine doses, we will be traveling across the country at the time of our second dose.  When will we get the second dose? Can we get our second dose sooner?

This will depend on the availability of vaccine in the province. We want to ensure that those who are at the 16 week interval receive their vaccine on time. If you are not going to be in the province when your second dose is due you may be able to get your second dose in the province you are moving to.

Questions about COVID-19 Immunization Record

Where can I get a written record of my COVID-19 immunization?

You can request a record of your COVID-19 immunization (by email or in hard copy) from staff when you attend your vaccination appointment at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic or partner pharmacy.

If your appointment is at a partner pharmacy, you can request a copy from the pharmacy at the time of your appointment.

I’ve already been vaccinated, how can I get a record of my COVID-19 immunization record?

If you were vaccinated at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, you can request a record of your immunization from your local Public Health Nursing Office.

If you were vaccinated at a partner pharmacy, you can request a copy of your immunization record from the pharmacy directly.

In the coming weeks, more information will be available about how to request your immunization record online.

I received my first dose, but wasn't told which one I received.  How can I find out?

You can ask for your COVID-19 immunization record when you go to your second appointment.

Published date: 
April 29, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca