TORONTO — Following Health Canada’s approval of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, children aged five to 11 will be eligible to book their appointment to receive the vaccine beginning Tuesday, November 23, 2021. Approximately one million children aged five to 11 are eligible to receive the vaccine which will help protect Ontario’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 and keep the province’s schools safer and open for in-person learning as more people move indoors and attend family gatherings during the colder months this winter.
“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. We continue to encourage all Ontarians to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”
As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, children aged five to 11 across Ontario will be eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through a variety of channels including the 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.
To book an appointment online, children must be turning five years old by the end of 2021 (born in 2016).
Ontario is expected to receive 1,076,000 doses of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government, which will then be immediately distributed to public health units, pharmacies, and primary care settings across the province. Appointments across the province are expected to begin as early as November 25 when the federal supply arrives at vaccine clinics across the province.
“Receiving vaccine approval for children aged five to 11 is another critical milestone in our vaccination efforts,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Across the province, Ontarians have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19 and now parents can take comfort in knowing their children will also have the opportunity to be protected.”
“Increasing vaccine rates will help to further minimize disruption and keep students learning in a more normal in-class experience,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “As a result of widespread ventilation improvements, increasing investments, and comprehensive testing options, Ontario has one of the lowest case rates for youth under 20 in Canada.”
In addition, the province, in conjunction with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, has launched Operation Remote Immunity 3.0 (ORI 3.0) to support the administration of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged five to 11 in Northern and Remote First Nation communities, as well as booster doses to eligible populations. ORI 3.0 will run until March 2022.
“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. “The paediatric 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. I strongly encourage every parent and caregiver to get their younger children vaccinated and protected.”
Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible is key to limiting the risk of transmission and protecting our hard-fought progress against COVID-19. Together with its partners the government continues its Last Mile Strategy to administer thousands of first and second doses to adults and youth already eligible for their shot as we also continue to provide booster doses to nearly three million eligible Ontarians.
- Children aged five to 11 (and turning age five in 2021) will receive the paediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine which is a slightly modified, lower dose (one-third the amount given to individuals aged 12 and over), in a two-dose series at a recommended interval of eight weeks between first and second doses.
- It’s okay to have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Parents, caregivers and children are encouraged to call the Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line that can be accessed by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.
- Parents or caregivers of children aged five to 11 will usually have to provide consent on behalf of the child before or at the time of the appointment.
- As of November 19, nearly 85 per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 80 per cent have received a second dose.
- Unvaccinated people are 24 times more likely to be in the hospital and 43 times more likely to be in the ICU.
- As we head into the colder months and more people gather indoors, the government is enhancing its COVID-19 testing strategy by expanding the number of testing locations and making it more convenient to access publicly funded testing for those who need it.
"The COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be very effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization in adults - and now clinical trial data suggest that the same appears to be true for young school-aged children. I and many other Ontario parents are feeling lucky that we have the opportunity to get our children immunized, thereby taking another step to prevent COVID-19 spread within our households and communities."
- Dr. Jeff Pernica
Ontario Immunization Advisory Council (OIAC) & Associate Professor, McMaster
- Paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions
- Summary of The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Statement of November 19, 2021
- Ontario Expanding Booster Eligibility to More Ontarians
- For public inquiries, please contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007).
- For resources in multiple languages to help local communication efforts in responding to COVID-19, visit Ontario’s COVID-19 communication resources webpage.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.