Toronto Public Health starts COVID-19 boosters for children age five to 11, prepares to kick off #VAXToClass student immunization clinics

Team Toronto has administered more than 200,000 fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Nurse about to give a covid-19 Vaccine

Beginning today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is vaccinating children age five to 11 with the COVID-19 booster. This is one of many opportunities for school-aged children to get caught up on vaccinations that will protect their health as they return to the classroom.

At 8 a.m. today, parents and caregivers of eligible children will be able to book an appointment for a paediatric COVID-19 booster dose through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.

Eligible children age five to 11 can receive their first COVID-19 booster dose at a recommended interval of at least six months following their second dose. If a child recently had COVID-19, they can wait 90 days from their infection to get the booster dose to maximize the immune response. Parents with questions are encouraged to reach out to their health care provider, the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre or the SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to make an informed choice for their family. The vaccine will also be available through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating health care providers and participating pharmacies: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect families, communities and individuals against COVID-19. Most children who get infected with COVID-19 have mild or asymptomatic disease; however, some children experience severe disease and require hospitalization. A booster dose for children age five to 11 is safe, will provide stronger protection and will prepare them for the anticipated increase in COVID-19 activity in the fall. More information can be found on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19: Vaccines for Children & Youth webpage: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-children-vaccines/.

COVID-19 vaccinations are also available by appointment or walk-in at the six City-run COVID-19 immunization clinics. More information and details about clinic locations and hours is available on the City’s COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-how-to-get-vaccinated/. Residents can also get their COVID-19 doses at local pharmacies, select primary care offices and other Team Toronto health care partner clinics.

Families enjoying the Labour Day long weekend can take advantage of a TPH pop-up clinic at one of the many wonderful festivals in Toronto this weekend:
•       Toronto Dragon Festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., September 3 and 4, noon to 7 p.m.
•       TIFF at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre, 350 King St. W., September 8 to 13, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and September 14 to 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•       Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), the Enercare Centre near 100 Princes’ Blvd., August 31 to September 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

TPH is also encouraging parents and caregivers to ensure students in grade 7 and above are up to date with their regular school immunizations. Free Meningococcal vaccines (prevent meningitis), Human Papillomavirus vaccines (prevent cancers) and Hepatitis B vaccines (prevent liver disease and cancer) are routinely offered in schools to grade 7 students. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic many students did not receive the vaccines. Recently, TPH identified three serious cases of meningococcal C infection among young adults who were not vaccinated.

As part of the #VAXToClass campaign, TPH is bringing school immunization opportunities back to grade 7 and 8 classrooms this fall. Clinic opportunities will be communicated directly to students and parents through local school boards. In addition, TPH is continuing to offer school-based vaccines in all of the City’s six fixed-site immunization clinics to catch up students in grades 9 to 12. A health card is not required. The vaccines are free, safe and recommended before leaving high school: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/immunization/get-immunized-children-youth/grade-7-vaccination-program/?accordion=eligibility. Booked appointments are encouraged: https://reservation.frontdesksuite.ca/tph/sipclinics/Home/Index?Culture=en&PageId=bf9c9faf-70a2-4c14-9936-74f19d2d79ba&ButtonId=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.

SOURCE City of Toronto

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