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COVID-19 vaccination

People aged 6 months and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccination is free.

Make an appointment

General notice

You can also make an appointment by calling 1‑877‑644‑4545 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Getting vaccinated

To get vaccinated, you can make an appointment online or go to a walk-in vaccination clinic.

Make an appointment

Walk-in vaccination clinic

Walk-in clinics are set up. Visit the websites of health institutions to get details about the vaccination clinic nearest you.

General notice

If you have a contraindication to messenger RNA vaccines, or if you refuse these vaccines, visit the websites of healthcare institutions to find out how to get a COVID-19 recombinant protein vaccine with adjuvant (Novavax).

Goals of vaccination

The main goal of COVID-19 vaccination is to reduce the complications, hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19. Vaccination may also prevent symptoms that last several months after infection, also called “long-COVID”.

Number of vaccine doses

The recommended number of COVID-19 vaccine doses depends on each person’s age, medical history and health.

People aged 18 years and older

A primary vaccine is recommended (two doses at an interval of eight or more weeks), followed by a booster dose (at least 3 months after the last dose received).

Youth 6 months to 17 years

General notice

Parental consent

Young people up to 13 years of age need the consent of a parent or legal guardian to be vaccinated. Young people 14 years of age and older can give their own consent for vaccination.

Children from 6 months to 4 years

A primary dose is offered to children aged 6 months to 4 years (two doses or three doses at an interval of eight or more weeks, based on the vaccine given).

Booster doses are not offered to children under the age of 5 years.

Children from 5 to 11 years

A primary vaccine is offered to children aged 5 to 11 years (two doses at an interval of eight or more weeks).

A booster dose is also offered to these children, five months after the last primary dose.

Youth from 12 to 17 years of age

A primary vaccine is recommended (two doses at an interval of eight or more weeks).

For youth with a chronic condition or living in a group home, a booster dose is also recommended five months after the last primary dose.

A booster dose is also offered to healthy young people who wish to receive it.

People who are immunocompromised or on dialysis

6 months to 4 years

A primary dose is recommended (three doses or four doses at an interval of four or more weeks, based on the vaccine given).

Booster doses are not offered to children under the age of 5 years.

5 years and older

A primary vaccine is recommended (three doses at an interval of four or more weeks), followed by a booster dose (at least three or more months after the last dose received).

Additional booster doses

For the people listed below, a COVID-19 booster dose is recommended if they have never had COVID-19:

  • people living in CHSLDs, RPAs, and other group settings with a high proportion of elderly and vulnerable individuals
  • people aged 60 years and older
  • people aged 5 years and older who are considered to be at high risk for complications
  • healthcare workers
  • pregnant women
  • adults living in remote and isolated areas

A booster dose is also recommended for people aged 5 years and older who are immunocompromised or on dialysis, regardless of their history of COVID-19 infection.

The recommended interval is 6 or more months after the last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Types of vaccines

COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccines

Québec experts recommend messenger RNA vaccines because they are more effective.

Pediatric formulations of these vaccines are used for children aged from 6 months to 11 years.

COVID-19 recombinant protein vaccines with adjuvant

These vaccines are approved for people 12 years of age and older in one of the following situations:

  • when messenger RNA vaccines are contraindicated
  • when a person refuses a messenger RNA vaccine.

A COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccine is recommended as a booster dose. However, people with a contraindication or who refuse messenger RNA vaccines may choose a recombinant protein vaccine with adjuvant as a booster dose.

The Medicago vaccine is not currently available in Québec.

COVID-19 viral vector-based vaccines

These vaccines are not currently available in Québec.

How vaccines work

When a person is vaccinated against COVID-19, the body prepares its defence against the virus. A natural immune response is triggered that neutralizes the virus by producing antibodies and other defence cells.

The virus that causes COVID‑19 is composed of a strand of genetic material, RNA (ribonucleic acid), surrounded by an envelope. The surface of the virus contains proteins, including the S protein (spike protein) which gives it its crown shape, hence its name coronavirus. The S protein allows the virus to infect cells in the human body.

COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccines and viral vector-based vaccines block the S protein, preventing the virus from entering and infecting human cells.

The COVID-19 recombinant protein vaccines with adjuvant contains the S protein (spike protein) and uses it as an antigen. The addition of adjuvant facilitates activation of the immune system cells to prevent the virus from entering human cells and infecting them.

These vaccines do not protect against colds and respiratory infections caused by other viruses, such as influenza.

Vaccines cannot cause COVID-19 because they do not contain the SRAS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for the disease.

Symptoms after vaccination

Vaccination may cause symptoms such as redness at the injection site. Other problems may arise by chance and are unrelated to vaccination, such as a cold or gastroenteritis.

Most reactions are mild and short-lived. Local reactions may occur up to 8 days after vaccination. They are most common after the second dose. For further information, please refer to the Vaccine information sheets for population This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Safety of the vaccines

The COVID‑19 vaccines approved by Health Canada are safe. They have been tested in quality studies on a large number of people and have gone through all the necessary steps prior to approval. They must meet the same quality and safety standards as any other vaccine used in Canada. Experts closely monitor any adverse events that might occur after vaccination and take measures to ensure that these vaccines are safe and effective.

Last update: February 2, 2023

Notice

Information on the website in no way replaces the opinion of a health professional. If you have questions concerning your health status, consult a professional.

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