Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

Know the facts about the vaccines being offered to make the best decision for your health, and the health of your community.

Is the vaccine harmful for pregnant women or people under the age of 18?

The safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women and breastfeeding women has not been tested yet. The vaccine may be approved for pregnant and breastfeeding women in certain age groups, if they have health risks that outweigh the risk of negative effects from the vaccination. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may give their informed consent to take the vaccine as long as they are aware that there is a lack of evidence about the effects the vaccine may have on them.

Can people with compromised immune systems get the vaccine?

People with compromised immune systems may be at an increased risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19. It is suggested that due to the increased risks of COVID-19, anyone with a compromised immune system should proceed with the vaccination. The potential benefit outweighs the risks at this time.

People with compromised immune systems were not included in large enough numbers in Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna clinical trials to determine how well the vaccine works for these patients or what side effects they might have.

Can people with severe food allergies get the vaccine?

If you have severe allergies to foods, environmental triggers, pets, oral medications, or latex - it is safe to receive the vaccine. You will be asked to stay an additional 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine as a precaution, in case there are adverse reactions.

If you have a severe allergy to any of the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines, you should NOT receive the vaccine. Anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable medication should consult their doctor before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Are there side effects to the vaccine?

Side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. These reactions generally last one to two days. They are evidence that your immune system is working to respond to the vaccine and is a normal reaction to most vaccines.

Can I still get the virus (or a lesser form of illness) if I have received the vaccine?

For the Pfizer vaccine to work fully, it must be given in two doses, with the second dose given 21 days after the first single dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning one week after the second dose. This means that people may not be fully protected against COVID-19 until at least 7 days after the second dose.

For the Moderna vaccine, it must be given in two doses, with the second dose given 28 days after the first single dose. The Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning two weeks after the second dose. This means that people may not be fully protected against COVID-19 until at least 14 days after the second dose.

Can you still carry and spread the virus if you've been vaccinated?

The vaccine will protect people from getting sick from the virus, but it’s possible after immunization that you could still carry the COVID-19 and be contagious to others. As the clinical trials continue for another two years, more will be understood about this risk. In the meantime, safety precautions must continue. This includes wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and limiting indoor gatherings.

Will this vaccine provide a lifelong immunity or will people need to be re-vaccinated throughout their lives?

At this time, long-term immunity data is not available. As with all vaccines, Health Canada will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine on Canadians and will not hesitate to take action if any safety concerns are identified. It is still unknown what percentage of the population will need to be vaccinated to achieve community immunity.

Will we need to take this vaccine yearly like the flu shot?

At this time, it is unknown how long immunity lasts after receiving the vaccine. The Government of Canada continues to monitor the data and will provide new information as it becomes available.

Do I still need to take the flu shot if I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine are different and not interchangeable. Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-COV-2) and the flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Talk to your health care provider to learn more. As with most vaccinations, it is recommended to stop the spread of the flu.

Can I stop wearing my mask after I get vaccinated?

No. If you have been vaccinated, it is important to continue following public health orders to protect each other and stop the spread of COVID-19. While the vaccine will help prevent you from getting sick, it’s possible that you could still carry COVID-19 and be contagious to others who have not received their immunization.

To stop the spread of the virus, herd immunity will need to be achieved through immunization. Public health measures will continue to be essential to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Canada to save lives. Continue to wash your hands, stay home when sick, maintain physical distancing, and wear your mask when leaving your home.

I received my first dose, can I stop wearing my mask and return to my normal routine?

No. You need to get the second dose of your vaccine and continue following safety precautions. Wear your mask, avoid large gatherings, and wash your hands frequently. There are still a lot of people who aren’t vaccinated, while you may be less likely to become severely sick with COVID-19 we don’t know if the vaccinated people can still spread the virus.

What happens after I get the vaccine?

After a health professional gives you the vaccine, you will be asked to wait for 15 minutes before leaving - folks who have a history of allergic reactions will be asked to stay for 30 minutes. This ensures you feel well enough to leave and quickly respond if you were to have an adverse reaction. Talk with your health care provider if you are feeling unwell.

Are there serious side effects of the vaccine?

Serious effects are rare. If you develop serious symptoms, it could be due to an allergy. This includes itchy bumps on the skin, swelling of your face, tongue or throat, and difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 Vaccination Booking

First Nations members who decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine can book through their community health centre on reserve or through Alberta Health Services (AHS).

Book Online through AHS here: