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MLHU: COVID-19 vaccinations for 11-year-olds turning 12 this year back on

Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine. Ankara, Turkey on June 16, 2021. Photo by Abdurrahman Antakyali/Depo Photos/ABACAPRESS.COM.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit says it is ready to resuming vaccinations for all children born in 2009 after the province announced Tuesday that 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 effective Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the MLHU announced that it would be opening up vaccination to anyone born in 2009 or earlier, regardless of whether they’ve had their 12th birthday yet or not. However, less than 24 hours later, the health unit reversed course at the request of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

On Tuesday, the provincial government said the expanded 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.

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The MLHU says it has both the capacity and supply to administer the Pfizer vaccine to 11-year-olds turning 12 before the end of 2021 (Pfizer is currently the only vaccine approved in Canada for children). Last week, the MLHU said that amounted to expanding access to the vaccine to roughly 2,000 individuals.

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“We are excited to now be able to offer the Pfizer vaccine to all youth born in 2009 in order to protect them from COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” says associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers.

“In order to ensure a safe return to the classroom in September, eligible youth and their families should get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Mass vaccination clinics in the region are accepting walk-ins but appointments can be booked online. A list of locations and times of walk-in pop-up clinics can be found on the health unit’s website.

— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues.

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