The Ontario government says the child-sized COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer for those aged five to 11 can be booked starting on Tuesday.
“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 at 8 a.m.,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted on Monday.
Appointments can be made on the provincial booking website or by phone, through local public health units, participating pharmacies and select primary care providers, Elliott said.
Elliott said it is likely that shots will be in the arms of children by Thursday after shipments are distributed across the province.
A child must be turning five year’s old by the end of 2021 (or born in 2016) in order to be eligible to book an appointment, the province said.
The news comes after a UPS plane bearing thousands of pediatric doses touched down in the rain at an airport in Hamilton on Sunday.
Sunday’s delivery marked the first in an accelerated shipment of vaccines geared toward young children.
Health Canada had approved Pfizer’s version of the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 on Friday.
The vaccine will require two doses of 10 micrograms each for kids aged five to 11 — one-third of the dose for adults. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending the two doses be spaced eight weeks apart.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said children who are set to turn five years old by the end of 2022 can book their vaccine appointment as early as January 2022.
Jones also noted that children who turn 12 years old eight weeks after their first dose can book an appointment to get an adult COVID-19 vaccine for their second shot.
Ontario officials said there are about one million children in the younger age group who are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Elliott said one shipment of more than 400,000 doses are arriving Monday with another shipment of more than 600,000 doses arriving on Tuesday for administering. In total, Ontario is expected to receive 1,076,000 doses from the federal government, officials said.
“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,” Elliott said. “We continue to encourage all Ontarians to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”
Elliott acknowledged that some parents may be hesitant to get their children vaccinated and want more information about vaccines for younger children.
She said that if parents want to speak with someone about vaccinating children, they can call the provincial vaccine contact centre at 1-833-943-3900, make an appointment to speak someone at SickKids Hospital, or contact their child’s pediatrician or family doctor.
Previously, the Ontario government said it would be up to the province’s 34 local public health units to have a plan to distribute the vaccine for young children.
Some local public health units, such as Toronto Public Health, have said schools would be used to administer the shot, although it would occur after hours and on weekends so that parents and guardians could be present.
— With files from The Canadian Press & Global News’ Leslie Young
As of 8 a.m. on November 23, children five to 11 will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment:
– at https://t.co/pxlgLpkLxR or by calling 1-833-943-3900
– through #PublicHealth units using their own booking system
– participating pharmacies
– select primary care providers pic.twitter.com/S94mRajBlY
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) November 22, 2021
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.