COVID-19 Vaccines

Marcel Giguère, pharmacist


As vaccination against Covid-19 has already or will begin soon in residences for the elderly (RPA), it seems appropriate to me to provide an update on the efficacy and safety of these vaccines.


Few treatments exist against the Covid-19 virus and these are, to date, ineffective or difficult to access. Controlling the inflammatory reaction with a cortisone derivative is currently the most widely used treatment to decrease mortality, with some success. Colchicine, an older gout medicine may also help decrease complications, but not prevent disease.

Vaccines against Covid-19:

But the only hope of stopping this pandemic is through the acquisition of collective immunity where 70% and more of the population would be vaccinated against this virus. As the polio virus has almost been eliminated from the planet by mass vaccination of the population, COVID-19 CAN ALSO BE ELIMINATED BY VACCINATION!

There are currently 2 vaccines against Covid-19 approved by Health Canada: that of the company Pfizer and that of Moderna. These 2 vaccines require 2 doses to be injected: the first dose providing immunity and the second providing long-term efficacy. Other vaccines will soon be approved as well, including the one from Johnson & Johnson, which will only require a single dose to be effective.


More than 70,000 people have participated in clinical studies of the 2 vaccines approved by Health Canada and their effectiveness has been evaluated at around 95%! It should be noted that in order to be effective, we must allow a period of about 14 days after the injection of the first dose. It was also noted that those who were still infected with the virus, despite their vaccination, generally had a less severe infection than those who were not vaccinated.

Effects :

The main side effects are minor. More than 50% of people vaccinated will have pain in their arms; between 10-50% of people will have headaches, joint pain, diarrhea, or swelling of the glands under their arms. Regarding serious allergic reactions, they only occur in 4 out of 100,000 people and vaccination centers are equipped to treat these people on site: there is therefore no reason to worry about receiving these vaccines.If you have any questions about your eligibility for these vaccines or their efficacy or safety, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your pharmacist: they will be able to advise you. Finally, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the Covid-19 vaccination.



As you are aware information regarding the Covid-19 vaccination process in Quebec is constantly changing. It is now confirmed that you must be a Quebec resident who is 70+ years old to book an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccination. You may begin making an appointment by either going on this website  or by calling 1-877-644-4545.

Route of administration

COVID-19 vaccines are given as an intramuscular (IM) injection into the deltoid muscle.” (Comment: The vaccines referred to here are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.)

Intramuscular (IM) injections:

The deltoid muscle of the arm is the preferred injection site in adolescents and adults (unless the muscle mass is not adequate, in which case the anterolateral thigh can be used).”

You can learn more on how to make a vaccination appointment by clicking on the following link: