Parents and caregivers of children aged six months to under five years will be able to book appointments for the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, July 28.
Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 will also become eligible to schedule their second booster dose (fifth dose) if at least six months have passed since their first booster (fourth dose).
“The approval of a lower dose paediatric Moderna vaccine will give families the opportunity to provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 for the youngest members of their families,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Getting vaccinated remains the best defence against COVID-19 and I encourage parents with questions 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.”
Over the next several days, paediatric vaccines are being distributed across the province and will be available through public health unit clinics, as well as participating paediatricians, primary care providers and pharmacies. Starting July 28, appointments will be available through the COVID-19 vaccination portal and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, directly through public health units using their own booking system, participating primary care providers and paediatricians, as well as at participating pharmacies and Indigenous-led vaccination clinics.
Parents and caregivers with questions are encouraged to speak with their health care provider or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to speak to a health specialist or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids Registered Nurse.
“We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have helped lower the rate of infection in our communities throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Although most children who get infected have no symptoms or mild symptoms, some can become very sick and require hospitalization. The vaccine offered to children aged six months to under five years is a lower dose that is safe and effective at protecting this age group from COVID-19. Even if a child has already had COVID-19, vaccination will help to further improve the immune response and provide more robust protection. I encourage every parent and caregiver to consider getting their younger children vaccinated and protected, especially if they are immunocompromised or have other serious medical conditions.”
The Ontario government is also ensuring workers do not lose pay if they miss work due to COVID-19 by extending paid sick days to March 31, 2023. Eligible workers will continue to receive up to $200 a day for up to three days if they need to get tested, vaccinated, receive booster shots, self-isolate, or care for a family member who is ill from COVID-19. The government will continue to reimburse eligible employers for the paid leave days.