‘COVID-19 vaccination works and is safe for youth:’ Hamilton infectious disease specialist

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Published November 18, 2021 at 4:26 pm

An infectious disease specialist at McMaster Children's Hospital (MCH) is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated, once Health Canada approves.

Health Canada is expected to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for youth between five and 11 years of age in the coming days. An infectious disease specialist at McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is effective for those currently eligible. And although children are not at a high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, the vaccine – once approved – will be a good preventative measure,” says Dr. Jeffrey Pernica. “We have a robust system in Canada for reporting adverse reactions to vaccines, and for children 12 and older the data definitely supports the fact that COVID-19 vaccination works and is safe for youth.”

MCH and experts throughout Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) recommend the COVID vaccine for all people who are eligible – including youth, once it is approved by Health Canada.

“Parents understandably have questions about the safety, efficacy and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine for their children,” says Dr. Jacqueline Wong, pediatric infectious disease specialist at MCH. “Parents and children should ask their healthcare providers these questions and seek out high-quality and trusted information to assist them in feeling comfortable with their decision.”

MCH is working closely as an active partner within the Hamilton Public Health strategy, and is also part of provincial efforts to create support materials for children, youth, families and health providers (https://kidshealthfirst.ca) and participate at the Provincial Children’s COVID 19 Vaccination Advisory table.

“It is very important for anyone who is eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, as it is an important defense against serious illness, hospitalization and death,” reads an official statement from HHS.

Hamilton Public Health says it’s working with local school boards and McMaster Children’s Hospital to scale up operations with family-friendly clinics and an age-specific vaccine confidence campaign.

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