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COVID-19 Vaccination in Children and Youth

The town hall for parents and guardians of kids 5 to 11 is now available to watch online.

Health Canada has authorized the use of COVID-19 vaccine in children five to 11 years old. Appointments are now available for five to 11 year olds at Public Health clinics. Book an appointment.

Read the frequently asked questions below for more information on COVID-19 vaccination in children and youth. New guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization was released on Nov. 19. This page will be updated soon.

Why it's important to get vaccinated.

In Niagara, we've had many COVID-19 cases in children and youth - over 2,970 cases in those under 20 years of age as of Nov. 4. However, it's largely the younger age groups that have been sick. From Oct. 1 to 21, there were about 100 cases of children sick with COVID-19. This has impacted 54 daycares, early childhood education centres, elementary and secondary schools, and families.

While most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or none at all, some children with COVID-19 can get very sick. Some can develop a serious medical condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children. Others can experience more serious, longer-lasting symptoms that can affect their health and well-being. In very rare cases, the virus can also cause death.

Children, like adults, can also spread COVID-19 to other people, even if they have mild symptoms or don't feel sick. By following public health measures and getting vaccinated when eligible, they can protect others.

Vaccinating children will help to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19. The vaccine is shown in clinical trials to prevent symptomatic illness in youth. A recent Public Health Ontario review found two studies that demonstrated vaccine efficacy of 100 per cent for preventing symptoms in children under 18 years old. New research from the Centre for Disease Control found vaccination reduces risk for COVID-19 hospitalization in youth. The more people who get vaccinated, the better protected we'll be, and the sooner things will return to normal.

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Frequently asked questions

Safety

Consent

  • How can a parent or legal guardian give consent for their child?

    Consent for vaccination for children 5 to 11 years of age needs to be provided by a parent or legal guardian.

    It's preferred that children get their vaccine with a parent or legal guardian present at the clinic.

    If necessary, children can go with an alternative caregiver to get vaccinated. A parent or legal guardian must be available by phone to provide verbal consent and review health history.

    When COVID-19 vaccination clinics are being held at schools, they will take place outside of school hours. This is to ensure that parents or legal guardians can be with their children to provide consent.

    For those 12 and older, COVID-19 vaccines are only provided if informed consent is received from the person to be vaccinated and as long as they have the capacity to make this decision. This means that they understand:

    • What vaccination involves
    • Why it's being recommended
    • The risks and benefits of accepting or refusing to be vaccinated

    COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary for anyone eligible in Ontario. In Ontario, the Health Care Consent Act sets out certain rules on when consent is needed for treatment and how it must be obtained. Parents and guardians are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their child before attending a clinic.

    Even if an individual is able to provide informed consent, we encourage them to talk about their decision with their parent / guardian or health care provider.

    The health care provider and family must respect an individual's decision about vaccination.

    If the individual is incapable of consenting to receiving the vaccine, they would need consent from their substitute decision-maker, such as their parent or legal guardian

The CARD system

Preparing your child for their vaccine

School

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