COVID-19 vaccine bookings for Ontario children aged 5 to 11 to start tomorrow

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Published November 22, 2021 at 9:16 am

The Canadian Press

The province announced Monday morning (Nov. 22) that children aged five to 11 will be eligible to book their appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 23).

To book an appointment online, the provincial government said in a press release, children must be turning five by the end of 2021 (born in 2016) to be eligible.

“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.

“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.”

Approximately one million children in Ontario aged five to 11 are eligible to receive the vaccine and the province said it expects to receive 1,076,000 doses of the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government, which is in the process of distributing child-size doses to public health units, pharmacies, and primary care settings across the province and country.

Appointments across Ontario are expected to begin as early as Thursday (Nov. 25) when the federal supply arrives at vaccine clinics across the province.

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines for children landed in Canada at the Hamilton airport on Sunday, clearing the way for provinces and territories to gear up in earnest for the next phase of the national mass immunization campaign.

A UPS plane bearing thousands of pediatric doses touched down in the rain Sunday evening, with federal Procurement Minister and Hamilton MP Filomena Tassi on hand to mark its arrival.

Tassi clapped and cheered as workers unloaded massive grey containers from the upper deck of the plane.

Sunday’s delivery marks the first in an accelerated shipment of vaccines geared toward children between the ages of five and 11.

Health Canada announced Friday that it had approved a modified version of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in children, and Ottawa immediately promised some shots would be on Canadian soil 48 hours later.

“Keeping a low rate of infection in our communities is vital to keeping our schools, our businesses and our social settings as safe as possible while minimizing disruption,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, in the release.

“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.”

Appointments for children aged 5 to 11 can be booked through the province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal and contact centre, directly through public health units using their own booking system, participating pharmacies which individuals can find on Ontario’s website using the pharmacy locator, and select primary care providers.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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