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COVID Vaccine Letter from your family doctor

Dear Patients,

2020 brought such fear and changes to the way we live our lives. As we begin 2021, there is hope – vaccines are on their way.

As you all know, the first vaccines are being given to higher-risk people and healthcare workers. But we look forward to when you all will have access to the vaccine. We do not yet know the place or the timing and we will communicate this when we do.

Some questions have arisen that we wanted to answer at this stage – please see below, and you can find more detail here.

  • Appropriate steps taken – The vaccines were developed so fast because it was a top priority for everyone in the field and billions of dollars from governments and companies around the world were spent on getting it developed. The scientific world cooperated in ways they had not before. The bureaucratic process was super-fast because of the importance of getting this through.
  • New technology – mRNA has been studied and used for cancer treatments for upwards of 30 years, but this is the first vaccine using the technology. There are two vaccines made this way (Pfizer and Moderna). mRNA vaccines cannot give someone COVID-19 as they do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. They also do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. There will be other vaccines coming later which are made with older technology. More is information is available here.
  • I do not need a vaccine. I am not at risk/COVID-19 isn’t that bad. - COVID-19 is much more serious than the flu. In Canada, the flu kills roughly 3,500 patients per year. In less than a year, COVID-19 has killed more than 5 times that many.  Even if a young and healthy person does not die of COVID-19 infection, they may have long term complications from COVID-19.  Even if you do not develop severe COVID-19 infection, you may still pass on the virus to someone who will. If you are vaccinated, you’re helping protect the people around you.
  • Effectiveness – In clinical studies, very few people got COVID-19 within 12 days of getting the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This result is similar to the Moderna vaccine, which is the other COVID-19 vaccine now approved for use in Canada.
  • Pregnancy/breastfeeding – Pregnant and breastfeeding women were not included in trials for the currently available vaccines. However, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada has stated that “the documented risk of not getting the COVID-19 vaccine outweighs the theorized and undescribed risk of being vaccinated during pregnancy or while breastfeeding and vaccination should be offered.” The Ontario Ministry of Health guidance states that pregnant women should discuss risks and benefits with their family physician or primary healthcare provider.
  • The Ministry also point out that mRNA vaccines are not live vaccines and are not expected to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we will discuss the risks and benefits to help you make an informed decision about receiving the vaccine.
  • Allergies – People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction (i.e., anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of an mRNA vaccine or any of the ingredients in the vaccine should not receive it. We will discuss any allergies or other health conditions you may have before you receive the vaccine. If needed, we can seek input from an allergist-immunologist.
  • Autoimmune conditions/Immunocompromised – If you have an autoimmune or immunodeficiency condition, or are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment, we will discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination given your particular situation and come to a decision together. People with these conditions were not included in the trials for the currently available vaccines, although vaccination may be a good idea for you to reduce your risk of getting a COVID-19 infection.


Our office has remained accessible to you, by phone, by video or in person as it was deemed necessary. We thank you for your understanding as we help you in your health in these different ways.

Thank you all for what you have done to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and your communities safe. Thank you to those frontline workers who have faced fears and yet continued to provide the services that we have needed to function.

We look forward to when the vaccine allows us to return to a life that is more connected. In the meantime –

Wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands. AND be calm, be safe, be kind.


  Physicians of the Owen Sound Family Health Organization

Kim  Williams

Outreach Coordinator, 

United Way Bruce-Grey,

The United Way Energy Assistance Pilot Project

(613) 808-0180


United Way Bruce Grey

Useful Quick Links:

Government of Ontario Covid Information: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

Grey Bruce Public Health:  https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/

Self Assessment tool: https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/en

School Screening Tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Covid-Testing Results: https://covid19results.ehealthontario.ca:4443/agree

You can help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus right from your phone.

The Government of Canada has asked telecommunication providers to help spread the message about their new COVID Alert app. Download the COVID Alert app for free, and help protect yourself and your community.

The COVID Alert app lets users know if they have been exposed to COVID-19. Available now in Ontario in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

COVID-19 Information For Patients, Caregivers And The Public

Originally posted Mar. 23, 2020. Last updated June 15, 2020

Resources related to COVID-19 for patients, caregivers and the general public are listed below. New and updated resources will be added to the top of each list as they become available.



Fact Sheets

Provided by Public Health Ontario

  • Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts (PDF)  | Public Health Ontario, February 19, 2020
  • How to Self-Isolate (PDF) | Public Health Ontario, February 19, 2020
  • How to Self-Monitor (PDF) | Public Health Ontario
  • Hand Hygiene | Public Health Ontario


Additional Resources

    • Includes resources in different regions for legal, social isolation, interpersonal violence, food, shelters and drop-in centres
Nutrition & Exercise
  • Nutrition videos by Niagara North FHT

For mental health resources, see the Mental Health and Wellness Page

Resources for specific groups

Cardiac Disease
Kidney Disease
Families with Children
    • Articles include:
      • Talking to your anxious child about COVID-19
      • How to talk to Kids and Teens about the Coronavirus
      • Helping Children and Teens Cope with Anxiety About COVID-19
Pregnancy and Newborns

Wound care | Wounds Canada

Return to: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Disclaimer: The information in this resource centre represents general guidance developed by AFHTO and their partners, gathered through a rapid, non-systematic scan of relevant and valuable guidelines with an intent to support you in a timely fashion. The information reflects best knowledge at the time of writing and is subject to revision based on rapidly changing circumstances and conditions. As new best practice evidence emerges, recommendations may evolve. The resources above should be considered supplementary guidance and are not meant to replace clinical judgement or organizational directives.