Métis Nation of Ontario All-Citizen Town Hall
COVID-19 Vaccine • Frequently Asked Questions


What masks are the safest to prevent or slow down the spread of the Omicron variant?

At a minimum, you need a three-layer mask. This can be homemade or disposable. The importance is that there are two layers of tightly-woven fabric such as cotton AND a third, middle layer of a filter-type fabric. Your mask should fit snuggly without gapping and cover your nose, mouth and chin.


Will the MNO be providing Rapid Antigen Tests and non-medical masks for MNO Citizens?

Yes. The MNO has sourced disposable non-medical masks and COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits for distribution to MNO Citizens who require them. Please order here: https://metisnation.smapply.io/prog/covid_rapid_test_kits_/

While we strive to have supplies for all requests, COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits are in limited supply so please be advised that distribution is on a first come first serve basis while supplies last. Please expect a few days for delivery for the items you have requested. If you have further queries, please call: 1 (800) 263-4889 x7.


Rapid COVID-19 tests are subject to cold temperatures when shipped. Is the MNO aware of this when sending the Rapid Test Kits by mail?

Yes. Quality assurance testing per the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the rapid antigen tests can be frozen and still provide results consistent with tests that were not frozen. It is anticipated that the tests can take some period of exposure to cold temperatures and perform adequately. It is still recommended the tests be stored at room temperature.


How do MNO Citizens access the PCR test?

Métis, along with First Nations and Inuit, wherever they live in Ontario are a high priority group for COVID-19 PCR testing. Testing locations can be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations


How long do I wait between my second dose and getting a booster?

The current recommendation is 84 days between your second dose and your booster dose.


I am infected with COVID-19. How long do I have to wait to get my booster?

The current recommendation is to wait 8 weeks after infection before receiving dose 1 or 2 and wait three months before receiving a third dose (as long as dose 2 & 3 are separated by 6 months). If possible, speak to your healthcare provider to determine the best interval for you.


How much protection does one vaccine offer a child 5-11 years of age?

Although one dose offers some protection, a complete series (two doses) of the pediatric vaccine offers the best protection.


Is it best to have a mix of vaccinations or are all vaccines the same?

At least one dose of an mRNA vaccine is recommended as a booster dose. Otherwise, the first vaccine you are offered is your best vaccine.


Will there be an emergency authorization for children born in 2017 who have not turned 5 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario?

At this time, children must have turned 5 to be eligible to receive the pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccine approved for children aged 5-11 years. Clinical trials for children under the age of 5 are currently underway. Vaccinating eligible family members is the best way to keep children not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines safe.


Our family all have COVID-19 with 2 of the 4 having positive PCR tests. We are isolating. Do we have to wait until the last person is feeling better for 24 hours before all of us can go back to work?

At a minimum, each family member has to isolate for at least 5 days (vaccinated or child under 12) or 10 days (unvaccinated or immunocompromised) after a positive test or the start of their symptoms. Each person can return to work or school once their symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (48 hours if you have gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea).


What is the best way to take care of yourself if you get Omicron?

If you have any of these serious symptoms call 911 or find someone to take you directly to the nearest emergency department:

      • Shortness of breath
      • Cough so bad, you can’t catch your breath
      • Chest pain
      • High fevers with confusion

For less serious symptoms like fever and/or chills, cough, sore throat, headache, tiredness or muscle aches and body pain; getting plenty of fluids, lots of rest and using over-the-counter medication (like Tylenol or Advil) to address pain and fever.


I am pregnant or breastfeeding. Should I get the vaccine?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended during pregnancy in any trimester and while breastfeeding. {Link to Provincial Council FAQ document: https://www.pcmch.on.ca/i-am-pregnant-or-breastfeeding-should-i-get-the-covid-19-vaccine-2/ and Society for Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ of Canada statement: https://sogc.org/common/Uploaded%20files/Latest%20News/SOGC_Statement_COVID-19_Vaccination_in_Pregnancy.pdf


For a list of COVID-19 vaccine questions asked at the January 2021 Métis Nation of Ontario Town Hall: click here

What vaccines are currently approved in Canada?

To date, the following COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in Canada by Health Canada:

      • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
      • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
      • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
      • COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine
      • Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada for children aged 12 and up.

All vaccines for COVID-19 authorized for use in Canada have been evaluated by Health Canada, using rigorous standards. Health Canada will continue to monitor all vaccines to make sure they are safe and effective.


What should I tell my health care provider prior to receiving the vaccine?

Be sure to tell your health care provider if you are feeling unwell or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have had previous allergic reactions or adverse effects to a vaccine, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding* (note: vaccines are safe for both), if you are immunocompromised, have a bleeding disorder or take medications that could affect blood clotting.

You should also let your provider know if you have received any other (non-COVID-19) vaccine within the past 14 days.

If you are receiving your second dose, tell the health care provider administering the second dose if you had any side effects after the first dose.

*Vaccination in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Decision-Making Support Tool: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/vaccine/COVID-19_vaccination_pregnancy_clinical_support_tool.pdf


How is the vaccine administered?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as a needle in the upper arm (into the deltoid muscle). The province is extend the time interval of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna up to 16 weeks after the first dose and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines at or greater than 12 weeks.


When should I return for my second dose?

Your vaccine clinic or health care provider will instruct you on receiving your second dose. For the two-dose vaccines, optimal protection against COVID-19 is most effective following the second dose. It is very important that you receive the second dose even if you experienced side effects the first time.

Be sure to bring your immunization record when attending your appointment.


My first dose was the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, what are my options for the second dose?

Individuals who received a first dose of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and who do not wish to receive AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD for a second dose will be provided the option to receive an mRNA vaccine product for their second dose.


My first dose was the Pfizer-BioNTech/ Moderna (mRNA vaccines), what are my options for a second dose?

Individuals who received a first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines may receive either Moderna or Pfizer for their second dose. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are very similar and NACI advises mRNA vaccines are safe to be used together in a vaccine schedule.


How long does the second dose take to be effective?

Generally, the second dose takes an average of two weeks to become most effective, though it depends on the individual.


What do I do if I have a severe allergic reaction?

Clinic staff are prepared to manage a severe allergic reaction should it occur. When receiving your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, tell the health care provider administering the second dose if you had any side effects after the first dose


What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines may cause side effects; however not everyone experiences them and those who do experience them, mostly report mild side effects within the first 1-2 days after vaccination.

The most commonly reported side effects are localized reactions including pain, swelling, and colour changes in the skin (e.g. red, purple) at the injection site, and tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, and mild fever.

Studies have also shown that reports of severe side effects are extremely rare, and Canada will continue to monitor for any potential longer term side effects.


What do I do if I experience severe side effects?

If you experience side effects that are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days, contact your health care provider or seek medical attention. Go to the nearest emergency department or call 911 if any of the following adverse reactions develop within three days of receiving the vaccine:

      • hives
      • swelling of the face or mouth
      • trouble breathing
      • serious drowsiness
      • high fever (over 40°C)
      • convulsions or seizures
      • other serious symptoms (e.g., “pins and needles” or numbness)

If you have received the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine and you develop any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine, please seek immediate medical attention:

      • shortness of breath
      • chest pain
      • leg swelling or pain
      • persistent abdominal pain
      • skin bruising (other than at the site of vaccination) or petechiae (red or purple spots or blood blisters under the skin)
      • sudden onset of severe headaches or persistent or worsening headaches
      • blurred vision, double vision or dizziness
      • confusion or seziures
      • difficulty speaking or moving a part of the body

You can also contact your local public health unit to ask questions or to report an adverse reaction.


I’ve heard reports of blood clots from receiving the vaccine, should I be concerned?

Very rarely, the AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with a rare form of blood clot after vaccination. Doctors are calling this Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT).

These blood clots have two important features:

      • they typically occur 4 to 28 days after vaccination, and
      • they are associated with low platelets (tiny blood cells that help form blood clots to stop bleeding).

VITT seems to be rare. The rate of VITT is estimated to be approximately 1 per 127,000 persons vaccinated with AstraZeneca and/or COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine.


Who should delay having the vaccine?

      • If you have had any vaccine in the past 14 days, including non-COVID-19
      • If you are experiencing symptoms of acute illness or COVID-19
      • If you are in self-isolation or quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19