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Immunization

Routine and seasonal immunization during COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQ)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This information can help answer the questions you have about getting immunized during COVID-19.

Thank you for understanding that COVID-19 may affect immunization services.

Is it OK to get immunized during COVID-19?

Yes, you can get immunized during COVID-19. It’s important that you keep protecting yourself from other diseases. Immunization is a very useful way to prevent certain diseases. Public Health may screen you before your appointment to make sure it’s safe for you to come. Please follow all COVID-19 guidelines when you come to your appointment.

Can I get an immunization at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?​

Age 6 months to 5 years

Children age 6 months to 5 years who got the Moderna vaccine should wait 14 days before getting another vaccine. If they got another vaccine first, they should wait 14 days before getting the Moderna vaccine. Waiting helps to watch for any side effects from the Moderna vaccine.

If your child needs another vaccine on the same day or in the 14 days before or after the Moderna vaccine (for example, if your child is due for routine childhood vaccines), there are no safety concerns. Both vaccines will still work to protect your child.

Some vaccines have a longer waiting period. If your child had another vaccine in the last 4 weeks, check with your healthcare provider about when they can get the Moderna vaccine.

Age 5 years and older

Children age 5 years who got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and anyone age 6 years and older can get most vaccines at the same time as, any time before, or any time after a COVID-19 vaccine. However, certain vaccines have a waiting period. If you had another vaccine in the last 4 weeks, check with your healthcare provider about when you can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

​Can my child or I get immunizations we need during COVID-19?

Alberta Health Services’ Public Health routine immunization programs are an essential service. They’re open during COVID-19 to help protect you and the rest of the public.

There may be changes to immunization services at times of high demand for COVID-19 vaccine. These changes could include:

  • shorter appointments for infant immunizations (at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months of age) and 18 month and preschool immunizations. (The appointment will still include measuring height and weight, talking to you about your concerns, and screening for postpartum depression.)
  • routine immunizations for healthy adults may not be available at all public health clinics

Contact your local public health clinic to find out what immunizations are available.

If you or your child has a health problem that puts you at a high risk of disease (such as a weak immune system) you can get immunizations. You can also get any immunizations you need if you’ve had contact with a vaccine-preventable disease, like tetanus.

If you’re pregnant, you can get the dTap vaccine at a public health clinic or at your local pharmacy or family doctor’s office.

For the most up-to-date information, visit:

Should I get the influenza vaccine during COVID-19?

Yes. It’s important to protect yourself and others from influenza. Influenza and COVID-19 are respiratory infections. These infections affect your lungs and breathing. They can be very serious, especially for older adults and people with long-lasting (chronic) health conditions. As public health restrictions are lifted, we will see the return of other respiratory infections, including influenza.

The symptoms of influenza can be the same as COVID-19. If you have symptoms, you should stay home and away from others (isolate).

The influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from influenza. The best time to get immunized is usually in October or November before the influenza season starts. But you can be immunized any time during the influenza season, which starts late fall and lasts through the winter.

Influenza vaccine is no longer available for the 2021-2022 season. The 2022-2023 influenza immunization program will start in mid-October 2022.

If I think I have COVID-19, can I still get immunized?

You should not go for an immunization if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate. Isolation is no longer legally required in Alberta, but it is still important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visit ahs.ca/isolate​ for further information.

You or your child can get immunized when you feel well again.

I had a vaccine and now I have COVID-19 like symptoms. Should I isolate?

Some side effects from vaccines are the same as COVID-19 symptoms​.

Side effects from most vaccines start within 24 hours. For vaccines that protect against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella, side effects can start 5 to 12 days after the immunization. Side effects tend to be mild and could last 24 to 48 hours.

If you have symptoms that are the same as COVID-19, you should stay home and away from others (isolate) until your symptoms have improved and you feel well enough to do your normal activities.

If your symptoms last longer than 48 hours:

  • Use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment for Albertans (ahs.ca/covidscreen​) to find out if you need medical care or to get an AHS test.
  • If you have an at-home COVID-19 rapid test, use it. Go to alberta.ca/rapid-testing-at-home to find out what to do next depending on your rapid test result.

If you only have redness, swelling, or soreness where you had the needle, you don't need to isolate.

Will getting an influenza or other immunization put me at a higher risk of getting COVID-19?

No. There is no evidence that getting an immunization makes you more likely to catch COVID-19. There is also no evidence that getting an immunization makes it harder for your body to fight COVID-19.

Will getting an influenza or other immunization affect my COVID-19 test results?

No. Getting an immunization will not affect your COVID-19 swab test results.​

What are pharmacies and public health clinics doing to protect people from COVID-19 during immunization visits?

All healthcare providers follow guidelines to protect you from COVID-19. This include following recommended infection prevention and control strategies.

​​​​If you have questions about your pharmacy or doctor’s office infection control practices, you can call their professional college to learn more.
  • College of Physicia​ns and Surgeons of Alberta 780-423-4764
  • Alberta College of Pharmacy ​780-990-0321

I have a fear of needles. How can I prepare for my immunization?

Many adults and children are afraid of needles. You can do many things before, during, and after immunization to be more comfortable. Visit Commitment to Comfort​ for tips to make immunization a better experience. ​

Current as of: July 25, 2022

Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services