Vaccines against COVID-19

Marcel Giguère, pharmacist

As vaccination against Covid-19 has already or will soon begin in residences for the elderly (RPA), it seems appropriate to me to take stock of the effectiveness 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 reduce mortality, with some success. Colchicine, an old gout drug, may also help reduce 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,    WE CAN ALSO ELIMINATE COVID-19 THROUGH 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 that 2 doses be injected: the first dose ensuring immunity and the second, long-term efficacy. Other vaccines will soon also be approved, including that of 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 specified that, to be effective, we must count a period of approximately 14 days after the injection of the first dose. It was also noticed that those who were still infected with the virus, despite being vaccinated, generally had a less severe infection than those who were not vaccinated.

The main side effects are minor. More than 50% of vaccinated people will have arm pain; between 10-50% of people will have headaches, joint pain, diarrhea or swollen glands under the 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 the spot: there is therefore no reason to worry about receiving these vaccines.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for these vaccines or about their effectiveness or safety, do not hesitate to discuss them with your pharmacist: he will be able to advise you. Finally, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the vaccination against Covid-19.



Information regarding Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccination process is constantly evolving. It is now confirmed that you must be a Quebec resident aged 70 and over to make an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccination. You can start making an appointment by going to  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 mentioned here are the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.)

Intramuscular (IM) injections

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

You can read more about how to make an appointment by clicking on the following link: