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COVID-19 in Ontario: What you need to know about booking a vaccine appointment for children 5 to 11 years old

·3-min read

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, people in Ontario can book an appointment for children between the ages of five and 11 to received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

"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," a statement from Christine Elliott, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health reads.

"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."

Children must be turning five years old by the end of 2021 (born in 2016) to be eligible for the vaccine.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto has a by-appointment COVID-19 vaccine consultation service, where parents, legal guardians and caregivers can ask any questions about the vaccine for children and youth.

How do you book an appointment for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11?

As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23, appointments can be made through the COVID-19 vaccination portal and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Appointments can also be made directly through public health units using their own booking system, participating pharmacies and certain primary care providers.

In tandem with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Operation Remote Immunity 3.0 (ORI 3.0) has been launched in Ontario to support the administration of COVID-19 vaccines for children in Northern and Remote First Nation communities (as well as boosters), which will run until March 2022.

Appointments across Ontario will begin as early as Nov. 25.

The first shipment of Pfizer Inc's newly-approved coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 arrives for their distribution in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada November 21, 2021.  REUTERS/Nick Iwanyshyn
The first shipment of Pfizer Inc's newly-approved coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 arrives for their distribution in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada November 21, 2021. REUTERS/Nick Iwanyshyn

When can second appointments be booked for children between the ages of 5 and 11?

For first shot appointments booked through the COVID-19 vaccination portal, second dose appointments can been booked after the child has received their first dose, at an interval of eight weeks.

If a child's first shot is administered at a pharmacy, parents, legal guardians and caregivers should discuss second dose booking with that pharmacy location.

Primary care providers will communicate with parents, legal guardians and caregivers about booking a second dose appointment, if that's where the child received their first shot.

How does the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine differ from the version approved for older ages?

This is a two-dose vaccination regimen of 10 micrograms, a lower dose than the 30 micrograms two-dose regimen authorized for people 12 and older.

According to the information from Health Canada, the clinical trial showed that the immune response in children between the ages of five and 11 was comparable to the immune response in people 16 to 25 years of age. The vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in this younger age group, with no serious side effects.

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