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.