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Ontario begins vaccinating children 5-11 years old

A needle being prepared for a vaccination
File Photo
University of Rochester

Beginning Tuesday in Ontario, families can book COVID-19 vaccines for their children ages 5-11.

More than 1 million Pfizer BioNtech vaccine doses arrived in Canada on the weekend, including 400,000 in Ontario, with more on the way. In Ottawa, the federal procurement minister said Canada will have nearly 3 million doses of the children’s vaccine by the end of the week.

Officials said parents can book appointments through the province’s vaccine portal, phone the call center, or book through local public health units, their pharmacies or their primary care givers.

"We certainly know that parents of younger children, five to seven year olds, would prefer to have their child vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office or primary care family doctor. But for older children, they’re okay if they’re vaccinated in pharmacies and mass vaccination clinics as well,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario’s health minister.

Elliott said offering the kids vaccine is a significant milestone in Ontario’s fight against COVID-19 ahead of the holiday season. She said people can expect to get appointments as early as Thursday.

Children will receive two child-sized doses about eight weeks apart. Those doses are about a third of an adult-sized dose.

She added that vaccinating children is necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant. Officials said about a third of the new infections in Ontario are in school-aged children.