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Ask a Librarian - COVID-19 vaccines and the immunization roll-out

Last updated: March 2, 2021 - Originally published: July 26, 2021

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Joule’s Ask a Librarian team is committed to curating free evidence-based resources related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to update the Ask a Librarian: COVID-19 post with current clinical summaries, article collections, guidance and more. For public health information and resources for physicians and patients, visit the CMA’s COVID-19 page.

Here we focus on information sources specific to COVID-19 vaccines and the immunization roll-out.

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Clinical summaries


(Included with membership. Access now)  - COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) - see Prevention and Screening Immunization section. Updated July 21, 2021.

Recent updates

20 July 2021: first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech RNA vaccine (BNT162b2) vaccine may reduce risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women in Israel (JAMA 2021 Jul 12 early online) View in topic 

20 July 2021: inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) may be 66% effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection and 86% effective against death ≥ 14 days after second dose in adults in Chile (N Engl J Med 2021 Jul 7 early online) View in topic 

20 July 2021: inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) may be 85% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effective against COVID-19-related death in adults ≤ 59 years old in Turkey (Lancet 2021 Jul 17) View in topic 

20 July 2021: compared to days 1-12, estimated effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2) at days 13-24 after first dose in Israel to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection 51% and symptomatic COVID-19 54% in persons ≥ 16 years old (JAMA Netw Open 2021 Jun 1) View in topic 

12 July 2021: effectiveness of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech [BNT162b2] or Moderna [mRNA-1273]) may be 91% ≥ 14 days after second dose and 81% after first dose to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers in the United States (N Engl J Med 2021 Jun 30 early online) View in topic 

12 July 2021: 2-dose regimen of NVX-CoV2373 vaccine may be 90% effective to prevent symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults in the United Kingdom (N Engl J Med 2021 Jun 30 early online) View in topic 

8 July 2021: in adults ≤ 60 years old who received single dose of ChAdOx1-S (AstraZeneca) vaccine in last 8-12 weeks, single dose of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine may induce strong antibody response at 7-14 days (Lancet 2021 Jun 25 early online) View in topic 

28 June 2021: EMA safety committee advises against use of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S [recombinant] COVID-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria) in patients with history of capillary leak syndrome (EMA Press Release 2021 Jun 11) View in topic 



(Included with membership. Access now) – Search “COVID-19” to access drug monographs and patient drug information for AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, and PFIZER-BIONTECH 


BMJ Best Practice

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). See “Vaccines”. Updated July 21, 2021.



Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Literature review current through June 2021. Updated: July 26, 2021.


Clinical information hubs and toolkits

Center for Effective Practice - CEP Providers | COVID-19 Vaccines

Elsevier - COVID-19 Healthcare Hub: Vaccines Toolkit

Public Health Agency of Canada - Tool Kit for Health Care Providers 


Evidence reviews

American Family Physician

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Daily Research Briefs

July 14, 2021 Research Update Prevalence of Acute Myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination Written by John Hickner, MD, MS, on July 5, 2021. (Source: Montgomery J, Ryan M, Engler R, et al. Myocarditis following immunization with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in members of the US military [published online June 29, 2021]. JAMA Cardiol.


June 2, 2021 Research Update - Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA Vaccine Safe and Highly Effective in Adolescents 12 to 15 Years of Age. Written by Mark H. Ebell MD, MS, on May 28, 2021. (Source: Frenck RW Jr., Klein NP, Kitchin N, et al.; C4591001 Clinical Trial Group. Safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents [published online May 27, 2021]. N Engl J Med. 2021; doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2107456.)


McMaster University

COVID-19 Evidence Alerts – weekly update of high-quality clinical studies with free email notifications

Recent reviews

Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by natural infection or vaccination: a systematic review and pooled meta-analysis.
Chen X, Chen Z, Azman AS, et al.   Clin Infect Dis . Reviewed July 26, 2021.

Efficacy and Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in Phase III Trials: A Meta-Analysis. Cheng H, Peng Z, Luo W, et al.   Vaccines (Basel). Reviewed July 22, 2021. 

Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) in healthy children and adolescents: a double-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 1/2 clinical trial. Han B, Song Y, Li C, et al.   Lancet Infect Dis. Reviewed July 20, 2021. 


Primer AI - COVID-19 primer

Vaccine & Therapeutics  – dashboard for latest research and trending news and articles on vaccines


University of Pennsylvania Center for Evidence-based Practice

Penn Medicine COVID-19 Guidance Summaries


Veterans Affairs (VA) Evidence Synthesis Program

COVID-19 Evidence Reviews

Recent reviews

Acceptance of a vaccine against COVID-19 - a systematic review of surveys conducted worldwide.  Snehota M, Vlckova J, Cizkova K, et al. | Bratisl Lek Listy. 

Aim: To review the evidence on people´s intention to receive a vaccine against COVID-19. 

Efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection: interim results of a living systematic review, 1 January to 14 May 2021. Harder T, Koch J, Vygen-Bonnet S, et al. | Euro Surveill.

Aim: To assess the extent to which COVID-19 vaccines are able to prevent symptomatic and asymptomatic infections to guide public health recommendations and develop strategies for fully vaccinated people 

Confidence and Receptivity for COVID-19 Vaccines: A Rapid Systematic Review. Lin C, Tu P, Beitsch LM | Vaccines. 

Aim: To compare trends and synthesize findings in vaccination receptivity over time across US and international polls, assess survey design influences and evaluate context to inform policies and practices. 

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines for People with Cancer. Clark M, Loshak H, Farrah K | CADTH. 

Aim: To review the evidence on the use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines on patients with cancer or who are immunocompromised. 

Emerging role of artificial intelligence in therapeutics for COVID-19: a systematic review . Kaushal K, Sarma P, Rana SV, et al. | J Biomol Struct Dyn. 

Aim: To evaluate the role of AI in drug repurposing, novel drug discovery, vaccine and antibody development for the therapeutics of COVID-19. 


Articles and article collections

CMAJ articles

Five things to know about …: Achieving and sustaining herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Shelly Bolotin, Sarah Wilson and Michelle Murti. CMAJ July 19, 2021 193 (28) E1089; DOI:

Preparing for the next pandemic by creating Canadian Immunization Services

. Kumanan Wilson, Graham Sher and Jane Philpott. CMAJ July 19, 2021 193 (28) E1092-E1093; DOI:

Cases: Limb ischemia and pulmonary artery thrombosis after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford–AstraZeneca) vaccine: a case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia. Melissa Jones, Annie Boisvert, Jennifer Landry and Paul F. Petrasek. CMAJ June 14, 2021 193 (24) E906-E910; DOI:

Recognizing, managing and reporting vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia

. Michelle Sholzberg, Donald M. Arnold and Andreas Laupacis. CMAJ June 14, 2021 193 (24) E913-E915; DOI:

Short-term antibody response after 1 dose of BNT162b2 vaccine in patients receiving hemodialysis

. Rémi Goupil, Mehdi Benlarbi, William Beaubien-Souligny, Annie-Claire Nadeau-Fredette, Debashree Chatterjee, Guillaume Goyette, Lakshman Gunaratnam, Caroline Lamarche, Alexander Tom, Andrés Finzi and Rita S. Suri; for the Réseau Rénal Québécois (Quebec Renal Network) COVID-19 Study Investigators. CMAJ May 31, 2021 193 (22) E793-E800; DOI:

Informing COVID-19 vaccination priorities based on the prevalence of risk factors among adults in Canada.

 Finlay A. McAlister, Tracey Bushnik, Alexander A. Leung and Lynora Saxinger. CMAJ April 26, 2021 193 (17) E617-E621; DOI:

Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: an ethics-based framework for shared decision-making. Jonathan S. Zipursky, Rebecca A Greenberg, Cynthia Maxwell and Tali Bogler. CMAJ March 01, 2021 193 (9) E312-E314.

Medical experimentation and the roots of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Ian Mosby and Jaris Swidrovich. CMAJ February 24, 2021 cmaj.210112.


See links to additional articles and article collections in our COVID-19 post


Vaccine trials, monographs and tracking

Epocrates COVID-19 Drug Therapy Trial Updates – links to trials and resources focused on therapeutics.

Government of Canada –  COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker – Real-time reporting of doses administration across Canada. Updated July 19, 2021.

Government of Canada –  COVID-19 vaccines and treatments portal –  Information on vaccines and treatments authorized for COVID-19, as well as those currently under review. Updated June 9, 2021.

Government of Canada –  Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 – progress, clinical trials, rollout and safety. Updated June 21, 2020.

Health Canada –  COVID-19 Vaccines - Information on COVID-19 vaccines including authorized vaccines, types of vaccines and on-going safety monitoring. Updated June 2, 2021.

Lexicomp –  Lexi-Drugs COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA) monograph.

Lexicomp – Lexi-Drugs Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Tracker (includes links to trials).

Milken Institute – COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Tracker – Updated July 23, 2021.

Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (US) - COVID-19 vaccine tracker.


Guidelines and other information


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Different COVID-19 Vaccines. Updated May 27, 2021.

International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) - “expedite and streamline the development, authorisation and availability of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines worldwide.”

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Vaccines Q&A Updated June 22, 2021.

 World Health Organization - COVID-19 vaccines. No date.



*CMA Joule - CPG Infobase: Clinical Practice Guidelines on COVID-19 Vaccines. Updated July 26, 2021.

*Immunize Canada - COVID-19 Information for Health Care Providers. No date.

Indigenous Services Canada – COVID-19 vaccines and Indigenous peoples. Updated July 21, 2021.

Public Health Agency of Canada – Guidance on the prioritization of initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine(s). Publication date: December 18, 2020.

Public Health Agency of Canada – Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines. Updated July 22, 2021.

Public Health Agency of Canada – Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19: Vaccine rollout. Updated July 22, 2021.



British Columbia

BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19 vaccination at a glance. Updated July 16, 2021

Doctors of BC -  Vaccine roll-out toolkit for doctors’ offices –- provides products for doctors and their staff to use to address questions from patients about the COVID-19 vaccine. Updated: March 2021.

Government of British Columbia - COVID-19 Immunization Plan. Updated July 8, 2021.

Immunize BC - COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions. Updated July 21, 2021.


Government of Yukon – COVID_19 Vaccine – vaccine schedule and appointment booking, vaccine strategy and rollout schedule. No date.

Northwest Territories

Government of the Northwest Territories - COVID-19 Vaccine – includes vaccine information in multiple languages. Updated July 6, 2021.


Government of Alberta - COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Updated July 2021.

Alberta Health Services – COVID-19 Immunization booking. Updated July 2, 2021.


Government of Saskatchewan - COVID-19 Vaccine - delivery strategy, vaccine information, and information for health care workers. No date.


Province of Manitoba – COVID-19 Vaccines – includes Q &As, Information for Health Professionals, and eligibility criteria. Updated July 26, 2021.


Nunavut Department of Health - COVID-19 Vaccination – includes vaccine information, rollout and FAQs. No date.


Government of Ontario - COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario – vaccination status, safety and rollout. No date.

Ontario College of Family Physicians - COVID-19 Vaccines – curated list of provincial and federal vaccine information. No date.

Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table - A Strategy for the Mass Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines in Ontario Based on Age and Neighbourhood. Updated February 26, 2021.

Public Health Ontario - COVID-19 Vaccines. Updated June 17, 2021.


Government of Quebec -  COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Updated July 9, 2021

New Brunswick

Government of New Brunswick – COVID-19 Vaccines – development, rollout and information for health professionals. Updated July 26, 2021.

Nova Scotia

Government of Nova Scotia - Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccine – includes immunization plan, supply and distribution, and vaccine data. No date.

Nova Scotia Health - COVID-19 Vaccine – vaccine information and distribution plan. No date.

Prince Edward Island

Government of Prince Edward Island -  COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunization Phased Approach – vaccination status, rollout schedule, and safety. Updated May 18, 2021.


Government of Newfoundland and Labrador – COVID-19 Immunization Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – vaccine information, administration and resources for health care professionals. No date.


Ethics and medical-legal resources

Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) – Vaccination - “As the COVID-19 vaccination rollout expands, there are a number of medical-legal considerations physicians will want to be aware of.”

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics - Coronavirus Ethics and Policy Insights and Resources. Updated June 30, 2021.

National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy/ Institut national de santé publique (Québec) – Public Health Ethics and COVID-19: Vaccination – Selected Resources. Updated March 2021.


Webinars and podcasts

Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada. COVID-19 vaccine foundations webinar for health care providers

National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases. NCCID hosts the Public Health Agency of Canada COVID-19 vaccine webinars for health care providers


Patient information

Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Questions and answers on COVID-19 – See “Post-vaccination” and “Vaccines and Vaccination” sections.

EBSCO - Patient decision aid for Covid-19 Vaccination. Updated June 4, 2021.

Immunize BC -  COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions. Updated July 21, 2021.


MayoClinic - COVID-19 vaccines: Get the facts

Ontario Ministry of Health - Vaccine safety

 *ScienceUpFirst - Together Against Misinformation.


Pre-populated literature searches

Vaccines in PubMed search by the SMHS & EMHS Library and Information Service

Google Scholar Pfizer or Moderna vaccines search by Dean Giustini – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—For Beginners to Experts - University of British Columbia.


Need more information or have a more focused clinical question on COVID-19 vaccines or any other clinical topic of interest? Contact the Ask a Librarian team to request a literature search.

This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. The opinions stated by the authors are made in a personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect those of the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries including Joule.

About the author(s)

CMA Joule’s medical librarians are the professionals behind “Ask a Librarian”, a service for all CMA members looking for clinical search expertise. This experienced team of librarians can support you by searching on your behalf, teaching you effective search strategies or training you to use our clinical resources.