Ontario families can book COVID-19 vaccine for children starting Tuesday

As Ontario's COVID-19 cases rise, parents can book their children in to receive their vaccines starting tomorrow

Courtesy of CNBC

by: Kaitlin Hartley

Health Minister Christine Elliott announced that beginning on Tuesday, November 23, families in Ontario can book vaccine appointments for their children aged five to eleven. To be eligible for the vaccine, children must be born in 2016 and must be five years old by the end of 2021.

The vaccine portal will be open tomorrow at 8am E.T. and appointments may be booked as early as November 25th. To book a vaccine appointment, parents can use the government’s vaccine portal, call their local pharmacy, or directly through their public health unit.

“Unfortunately we know right now that a third of the new cases of COVID are in school-aged children, so I think that speaks to the need to get children vaccinated…it’s as important as adults getting vaccinated.” Minister Elliott said during the news conference this morning.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott, courtesy of ipolitics.ca

This announcement is following Health Canada’a recent approval of the paediatric Pfizer vaccine being used to vaccinate children under the age of twelve. Ontario is expecting 1,076,000 doses of Pfizer’s paediatric COVID-19 vaccine to arrive from the federal government in two batches – Ontario has already received 400,000 doses as of today. The vaccines will be distributed to pharmacies, primary cares offices, and public health units as soon as possible.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said during the news conference,”Receiving vaccine approval for children aged five to eleven is another critical milestone in our vaccination efforts. Across the province, Ontarians have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19 and now parents can take comfort in knowing their children will also have the opportunity to be protected.”

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The government says that Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine is a slightly modified vaccine and will be given to children at a lower dose than adults receive – about a third of the amount that was given to people aged over 12 years old. Two doses will be required to reach full immunity, with an eight week interval in between doses, as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

According to the Ministry of Health, around one million children aged five to eleven will be eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The Ministry says that this will help to keep school aged children safe and help in Ontario’s fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Health Minister Elliott said in the conference today that if parents have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine that is now available to their children, they can contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or contact SickKids’s COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service.

Ontario’s vaccination rate among ages 12 and 17 are at 85% vaccinated with one dose, and 80% fully vaccinated.


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