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 the 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.
Only vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective and of high quality are authorized for use in Canada. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested during their development and then carefully reviewed by Health Canada. The vaccines can’t give you COVID-19 because they don’t contain the virus that causes it. The vaccines also can’t change your DNA.
COVID-19 vaccinated travelers entering Canada
Exemptions for fully vaccinated travelers
If you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler you are:
Required to show a pre-entry molecular test
Required to use ArriveCAN
Required to take an arrival test if selected
Exempt from quarantine
Exempt from Day-8 testing
All travellers are eligible to enter Canada if they qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller regardless of citizenship.
- Canadians are always eligible to enter Canada but must complete testing requirements and mandatory quarantine if they do not qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller
A pre-entry molecular test is required for all travellers. A rapid antigen test will not be accepted.
If you provide essential services or already qualify for other exemptions from quarantine and Day-8 testing, you don’t need to be considered a fully vaccinated traveller to enter Canada. If you think you qualify for other exemptions, find out if your travel is exempt.
Pre-entry testing and other requirements to follow for your trip
To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you must also follow these requirements:
1. Get a pre-entry test (accepted types and timing
2. Quarantine plan in case you don’t qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller
3. Upload proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
4. Checklist of what you need to have ready at the border
5. Arrival tests – randomized testing and exemptions