The Ontario government says 11-year-old children who will turn 12 years old by the end of 2021 will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot earlier, starting Wednesday.
The government announced effective Wednesday, Aug. 18, those children — born anytime on or before Dec. 31, 2009 — will be able to book an appointment for a shot.
Prior to this change, those with late year birthdays had to wait until they turned 12 in order to be eligible to get a vaccine.
Currently, Pfizer is the only approved vaccine in Canada for children.
Parents can book an appointment for their child through the provincial booking system, their local public health unit, pharmacies or walk-in to mass vaccination clinics across the province.
The provincial government said the eligibility was based on the advice of the chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore. In addition, the province said it has closely monitored data from Alberta and British Columbia where the Pfizer vaccine has been offered to youth born in 2009 for several months with no risks identified. Manitoba also made the same change on Monday.
“This will help to ensure even more students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine and ensure strong protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant as they return to school,” the province said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Ontario reported that 81.6 per cent of the eligible aged 12 and older population have at least one dose with 73.7 per cent who are fully vaccinated.