Toronto Vaccine Table

Toronto Public Health and SickKids to lead youth vaccination efforts

eAwaz Local News

Toronto – Toronto Public Health (TPH) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) along with vaccination partners, are leading the effort in Toronto to ensure all youth 12 to 17 years of age have the opportunity to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.

At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved by Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) for youth age 12 years and older. Youth must be at least 12 years old at the time of the vaccination.

Today, the Province of Ontario announced that youth will be able to book vaccination appointments through the provincial booking system Opens in new window to access their first dose at a City-run immunization site as of Sunday, May 23 at 8 a.m.

On May 17, Toronto vaccination partners, in collaboration with community agencies and school boards, started operating pilot pop-up vaccination clinics for youth 12 to 17 years of age and their families to receive their first doses. Opportunities for youth vaccination will continue to expand over the next month. School-based pop-up clinics will also be available in hot spot neighbourhoods.

SickKids is coordinating efforts with all vaccination partners and providing staffing resources to support youth vaccination. SickKids is not a vaccination site but is offering vaccination appointments to the highest and high-risk SickKids patients through a partnership with University Health Network (UHN). Eligible families will be contacted directly.

There will be a significant and coordinated effort to continue to engage and immunize Toronto youth 12 to 17 years of age that will conclude with a two-week vaccination blitz during the weeks of June 14 and June 21. Immunization clinics for youth with special needs or particular accessibility requirements are also being planned. More details on these initiatives will be released as they become available.

Youth do not need to attend a clinic with a parent as parental consent is not required for them to receive a vaccine, provided the health-care provider administering the vaccine deems the youth capable of understanding their decision. Parents and youth are encouraged to discuss vaccination together to ensure they understand the benefits and risks.

Under the provincial Health Care Consent Act Opens in new window, there is no minimum age to provide consent for vaccination. It is the professional and legal responsibility of all health-care providers to obtain informed consent prior to immunization.

Further information about youth vaccination and consent will continue to be made available to youth and parents or guardians in collaboration with Toronto Public Health, SickKids, other health-care partners and school boards.

Providing vaccinations for all who are eligible, including children and youth, will help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in our community and allow kids to participate in activities that benefit their health and well-being. Vaccination continues to be an important way to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from COVID-19, including the variants of concern. We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated at their earliest opportunity.

“Vaccinating young people plays an incredibly important role in reducing COVID-19 spread in our communities. TPH is pleased to be working closely with one of the best pediatric hospitals in Canada to educate and vaccinate youth to protect them from COVID-19.” – Dr. Allison Chris, Co-Chair of the Toronto Region Youth Vaccine Table and Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health