Children to get two doses of vaccine eight weeks apart: Kyle

The kids Covid-19 vaccine will be administered in two doses – eight weeks apart – for children to be fully vaccinated.

The eight-week interval is optimal for longest lasting protection, according to Durham Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle.

Health Canada has approved the paediatric Covid-19 Pfizer BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine for children five to 11-years old. Durham Region vaccine clinic appointment bookings for children turning five-years old in 2021 (born in 2016) to children who are 11-years old (born in 2010) opened on November 23 with the first appointments available on November 25.

Highest rate of infection

Local data show that unvaccinated children 12-plus and unvaccinated children zero to 11-years old, had the highest rate of Covid-19 infection in the past four weeks as compared to partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated residents, said Dr. Kyle.

Evidence has shown that Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective at preventing serious illness from Covid-19. Children can get sick from the virus, spread it to others, experience longer-term effects if they get infected and may get a rare but serious complication called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Combined with other public health measures, the vaccine will provide added protection to children so they can safely participate in school, extra-curricular, recreational and social activities.

Several resources are available for parents and guardians who are hesitant or looking for more information about the paediatric Covid-19 vaccine. Residents can talk to their health care providers, use the SickKids Covid-19 Vaccine Consult Service, refer to the Vaccines for children: Covid-19 Government of Canada web page, refer to the Provincial Covid-19 Vaccines for Children and Youth Fact Sheet, or visit durham.ca/Covidvaccines for more information and additional resources. Residents may also refer to the Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) which includes considerations for parents and guardians making this important decision regarding vaccination.

Children’s Covid-19 immunization clinics will be available in all area municipalities and will also be held at select school-based clinics by appointment only. For a listing of clinic locations and hours of operation, visit durham.ca/Covidvaccines#Children-5-11. Appointments can be booked at durham.ca/vaccineappointment or by calling 1-888-444-5113. Children can also receive vaccine through select pharmacies and health care providers. Older family members or friends will not be able to receive vaccine during clinics designated for children; however, individuals 12-plus can book a separate vaccine appointment.

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