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 Moderna vaccine is also being offered by partner pharmacies to individuals 18 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.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent means that you agree to receive the vaccine and understand the risks of receiving the vaccine and the risks if you do not receive the vaccine. You will be provided information on the vaccine and should ask the nurse any questions you may have before receiving the vaccine.

Children 12 to 15 years of age in Grades 7 to 9 can receive the vaccine either in their school or at a public clinic. A child will not be able to be vaccinated at school without a signed Parental Consent Form.

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.

Published date: 
June 11, 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