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This page includes information and resources about COVID-19 vaccination for children 5 to 11 years of age.

Updates

  Why it’s important for children to get vaccinated

  • Although COVID-19 symptoms in children can be mild, some have developed more severe symptoms or required hospitalization, even without underlying health conditions.
  • Some children can develop other complications from COVID-19 beyond the infection itself, including a rare but serious condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). MIS-C is preventable by getting vaccinated.
  • Children can also have symptoms long after the COVID-19 infection has cleared.
  • COVID-19 has had a significant impact on children’s mental, social and emotional health.
  • The loss of in-person school and reduced social interactions with peers has led to increased stress and negative mental health for children.
  • Vaccination is a way to ensure that children can continue their routines of daily life and not miss important activities.

Where to get vaccinated

Children five to 11 years of age (must be five years of age or older on the day of vaccination) who live or study in Halton have several options to get their COVID-19 vaccine:

 

For more information about Halton Region Vaccination Clinics and accommodations, including transportation options, accessibility, private areas and language supports available, please visit Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics webpage or call 311.

When to get vaccinated

Children five to 11 years of age (must be five years of age or older on the day of vaccination) are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that children 5-11 years of age wait at least 14 days before and after they receive the COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine. Find out when your child should get the vaccine if they had a COVID-19 infection.

Second doses

Third doses

  • Children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are eligible for a third dose. Check if your child is eligible (external link).
  • Third doses are given at least two months (56 days) after second dose, unless advised by a primary health care provider.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions for general COVID-19 vaccine questions. Don’t see your answer here? Check out these other FAQs:

It’s okay to still have questions about the vaccine. The following resources are available to help answer them:

Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age in Canada (external link) on November 19, 2021. The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested in clinical trials for children age 5 to 11. mRNA technology is not new, it has been studied by scientists for decades. Health Canada has approved the vaccine as safe and effective for this age group, it meets quality standards, and the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of COVID-19 infection.

Who should not get the paediatric Pfizer vaccine?

The paediatric Pfizer vaccine should not be given to children who:

  • have a fever, are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, currently have COVID-19 or have been instructed to self-isolate.
  • have an allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine or have had a previous severe reaction to this vaccine.

Visit Health Canada’s webpage for a list of paediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine ingredients (external link).

The paediatric Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in protecting children 5 to 11 years of age from getting sick from COVID-19. Results of clinical trials (external PDF) demonstrate children who received two doses of the Pfizer paediatric COVID-19 vaccine:

  • developed a strong immune system response; and
  • had a 91 per cent lower chance of getting sick with COVID-19.

Some children have mild side effects such as red arm, tiredness, chills and muscle/joint pain. These side effects go away after a few days. Serious side effects such as anaphylaxis or severe allergy are rare.

Long term side effects are not expected from COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Side effects from vaccines in general usually happen with in the first 6 weeks after administration. mRNA vaccines have been studied in humans since 2013 with no known long-term effects.

No. The Pfizer vaccine for children uses a lower dose. Smaller vaccine doses are often used for children because children have stronger immune responses than adults.

No, vaccine doses are based on age not weight.

Children five to 11 years of age will receive the paediatric dose of Pfizer (10 mcg dose). Adolescents 12 years of age and older will receive the 30 mcg dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Children who receive the paediatric dose (10 mcg dose of Pfizer vaccine) for their first dose and then turn 12 years of age by the time the second dose is due will receive the adult dose (30 mcg dose of Pfizer vaccine). 

As a precautionary measure, NACI recommends that children receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (10 mcg) at least 14 days before or after another vaccine. There may be circumstances when a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine need to be given within this time – a healthcare provider can help with this decision.

Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart muscle) has been reported following vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Myocarditis/pericarditis can be caused by many different infections, medications and other health problems. Classic myocarditis/pericarditis (unrelated to COVID-19) is less common in younger children 5-11 years of age (external PDF). It is unknown whether myocarditis/pericarditis will occur after the lower doses of mRNA present within paediatric COVID-19 vaccines for children 5-11 years of age. As myocarditis and pericarditis are rare side effects, the clinical trial did not detect these conditions among study participants.

Children who experience myocarditis and/or pericarditis after a first dose of the vaccine should speak with their health care provider to determine if they should get additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Children who have a history of myocarditis unrelated to COVID-19 vaccination should consult their clinical care team for individual considerations and recommendations. If they are no longer under active care for myocarditis, they may receive the vaccine.

To provide the strongest possible protection that is long-lasting against omicron and future variants, NACI recommends the COVID-19 vaccine be given to children aged 5-11 at an 8 week interval (external link). This is based on evidence in adults that suggests longer intervals between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines result in more stronger and longer lasting immune response and higher vaccine effectiveness.

Halton community clinics will not give a COVID-19 vaccine at a shorter interval than 8 weeks.

Pharmacists, physicians and Nurse Practitioners providing vaccine in the community, may choose to offer second doses earlier based on individual patient consultation and with informed consent.


 

How to prepare for your child’s vaccination

Prepare yourself

  • Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine from credible information sources. See “additional resources” section below for some credible sources.
  • It is helpful to keep calm and positive. Children are very aware of your emotions.

Prepare your child

  • Like any vaccine, children may be nervous or anxious about the thought of COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine is like any other vaccine and doesn’t hurt any more or less than other needles.
  • Talk to your child about the vaccine in a calm tone of voice and use positive language.
    • Explain to them what will happen: “The vaccine goes in your arm.”
    • Why the COVID-19 vaccine is important: “The vaccine will help keep you healthy.”
    • How it will feel: “You may feel a poke or a pinch.”
    • How long it will take: “It’s over before you can say ABC, 123”
  • Invite them to ask questions and address their concerns.
  • Help your child think of ways to keep themselves calm and relaxed. You can do this by teaching them how to:
    • Take deep breaths: Practice deep breathing with your child. Together, take a deep breath in and blow it out slowly. Have them pretend they are blowing out a candle.
    • Relax their arm: Show them how to relax their arm by keeping it loose and jiggly (like cooked spaghetti).
  • Have your child decide on a way to distract them from the needle. Some examples are:
    • Select a favourite toy or book that that they can bring to the vaccination clinic.
    • Shift attention – help them to think about a favorite positive experience during their vaccination.
    • Use technology – a phone or tablet to play a game, listen to music or read.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy snack or meal before attending the clinic.
  • Have them wear short sleeves or something easy to pull up so the vaccinator can easily reach their upper arm.
  • Consider using a numbing cream or patch to dull the pain where the needle enters the skin. This should be applied approximately 30 minutes prior to injection. Contact your family doctor or pharmacist for more information.
  • Remind your child about the tips for staying calm that you have practiced.
  • Bring your child’s Ontario Health Card. Children will not be turned away if they are not able to provide a Health Card.
  • Complete the COVID-19 screening for everyone who will be attending the clinic BEFORE you leave home if possible.
  • Have your child sit up during the needle. For younger children, hold them in a comforting hug.
  • Take deep breaths together and stay calm.
  • Remind them to relax their arm.
  • Encourage your child to use the distraction technique that they decided on.
  • Have them spot the Halton Heroes!
  • Tell them they can squeeze their knees together if they feel faint or dizzy.
  • Offer praise. Positive reinforcement works for kids of all ages. This helps your child feel good and boosts their confidence
  • Go to the recovery area and look for the Halton Heroes. Pick-up one of our Halton Hero mazes or colouring sheets, or just talk to your child about how proud you are of them.
  • Celebrate by enjoying a favourite activity together.
  • Refer to What to expect after COVID-19 Vaccine (PDF file) for more information on common side effects.
  • If you notice a change in your child’s health that worries you, contact your health care provider.
  • It is recommended that children 5 – 11 years of age wait at least 14 days before and after they receive the COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine.

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