Children 5-11 will soon be able to get their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
In a press release from the provincial government, children ages 5-11 will be eligible to book their first dose appointments starting today, November 23, 2021.
The youngest children must be turning 5 years old by the end of 2021.
The Northwestern Health Unit has advised the families that fall within their catchment area, that pediatric doses are not expected to arrive before November 29, 2021, at the earliest.
According to the province, approximately one million children aged five to 11 are eligible to receive the vaccine which will help protect Ontario’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 and keep the province’s schools safer and open for in-person learning as more people move indoors and attend family gatherings during the colder months this winter.
“The approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11 is exciting news for families and represents a bright light at the end of the tunnel,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
Parents of children ages 5-11 will typically have to provide consent for their child to get the vaccine prior to booking or at said appointment.
“Offering the protection of the vaccine to children aged five to 11 is a significant milestone in Ontario’s fight against COVID-19 in advance of the holiday season. We continue to encourage all Ontarians to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” she continued.
Ontario is expected to receive 1,076,000 doses of the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government, which will then be immediately distributed to public health units, pharmacies, and primary care settings across the province.
“Receiving vaccine approval for children aged five to 11 is another critical milestone in our vaccination efforts,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
She continued “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.”
“Increasing vaccine rates will help to further minimize disruption and keep students learning in a more normal in-class experience,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.
“As a result of widespread ventilation improvements, increasing investments, and comprehensive testing options, Ontario has one of the lowest case rates for youth under 20 in Canada,” he concluded.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health said “the pediatric Pfizer vaccine offered to children aged five to 11 will be a lower dose that is safe and effective at protecting this age group from COVID-19 and the Delta variant. I strongly encourage every parent and caregiver to get their younger children vaccinated and protected.”
The provincial government would like to assure parents that it’s okay to have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Parents, caregivers and children are encouraged to call the Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line that can be accessed by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service (click HERE) to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.
Learn more about pediatric COVID-19 vaccines HERE
*** Revision: It was previously stated that pediatric doses would be available November 25, 2021, as provided in the provincial press release. We have since been informed that information is not accurate to our region and that the NWHU is not expecting pediatric doses until November 29, 2021 ***