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Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
Information on COVID-19 vaccines including approved vaccines, types of vaccines and on-going safety monitoring can be found here.
About COVID-19 mRNA vaccines
Two of the vaccines approved for use in Canada are messenger RNA vaccines (called mRNA vaccines):
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine. They don’t use live virus to trigger an immune response. Instead, they teach your cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response. Once triggered, your body makes antibodies. These antibodies help you fight the infection if the real virus does enter your body in the future. Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for quite some time. For example, they’ve been studied for use in flu, Zika, rabies and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Researchers have also used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target certain cancer cells. mRNA vaccines can be developed faster than traditional methods because they’re made in a lab using materials that are easily available. Once developed, large-scale clinical trials are carried out to show that the vaccine is safe and effective. As with all vaccines, you gain protection from an mRNA vaccine without having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick from the virus. You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine itself. Learn more about mRNA vaccines here.
About COVID-19 viral vector-based vaccines
Two of the vaccines approved for use in Canada are viral vector-based vaccines:
These types of vaccines use a harmless virus (in this case, the adenovirus) as a delivery system. This vector virus is not the virus that causes COVID-19. You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine itself. Adenoviruses are viruses that cause the common cold. There are many different types, including those that cause colds in humans and those that infect other species. Scientists have been using these viruses for decades to deliver the instructions for proteins. Learn more about viral vector-based vaccines here.