COVID-19 vaccines are only provided if informed consent is received from the person to be vaccinated, including those 12 to 17 years of age, and as long as the individual has the capacity to make this decision. This means that they understand:
- what vaccination involves;
- why it is being recommended; and
- the risks and benefits of accepting or refusing to be vaccinated.
As a part of informed consent, anyone receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be informed of the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis (external PDF), and advised to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain, or the feeling of a rapid or abnormal heart rhythm.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Province has issued a recommendation of the use of the Pfizer vaccine (external link) as opposed to Moderna, for individuals aged 18 to 24 years old. Should individuals aged 18 to 24 wish to receive Moderna, they may continue to do so with informed consent. The province will continue using the Pfizer vaccine for youth ages 12 to 17 (including those turning 12 in 2021).
To help youth and families make an informed decision, the Province has developed a number of resources based on expert medical advice and scientific information: