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Parents/Guardians – Do you have questions or concerns about vaccinating your child?

You are strongly encouraged to talk to your child’s health care provider when making a decision about vaccination. By discussing with a health care provider, you will get the facts about COVID-19 vaccination from a reliable source.

In addition, there are FREE vaccine consultation services available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

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SickKids Vaccine Support Line:

This free service is available to children, youth, and their families across Ontario. The SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service is a by-appointment phone service that provides a safe, judgement-free space to have a one-to-one, open conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine for children and youth with a paediatric registered nurse.

You do not need an OHIP card to participate. Over the phone interpretation is free and available in many languages. Appointments can be made online or by calling 437-881-3505 or 1-888-304-6558.

VaxFacts with Scarborough Health:

This service provides one-to-one phone consultation, facts, and a judgement-free conversation  to help you make an informed decision. Any family in Ontario can book an appointment online to connect with qualified doctors or register by phone by calling 416-438-2911 ext. 5738.

You do not need an OHIP card to participate. Over the phone interpretation is free and available in 200 languages.

The Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre:

This service, provided by the Government of Ontario, provides you the opportunity to speak to a health specialist in a judgement-free environment, to get answers to your questions. This service is available in more than 300 languages.

Call 1-833-943-3900 (TTY: 1-866-797-0007).

Why should children get vaccinated?
Let’s hear from the experts.

Photo of a young girl receiving a vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A:
Why is it important for children aged 5-11 to get vaccinated?

Watch the full ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A with Ontario’s Medical Professionals’ YouTube series for more answers to commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children.

Dosage: A dose of the paediatric Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for young children, between ages 5 and 11, contains one-third (10 micrograms) of the amount of active ingredient compared to the adult dose (30 micrograms). COVID-19 vaccine dosages do not vary by patient weight but by age on the day of vaccination. In clinical trials, lower doses provided children with very good protection against COVID-19.

Interval: Children aged 5 to 11 years getting the vaccine should receive 2 doses. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that the second dose should be given at least 8 weeks after the first dose.

Syringe: Smaller needles are also used when giving the COVID-19 vaccine to young children ages 5 to 11.

The benefits of limiting the number of cases of COVID-19 far outweigh any potential risks associated with vaccination. In fact, serious side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, such as allergic reactions, are extremely rare. 

Similar to when children receive other vaccines, some children may develop short-term and mild side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Experiencing mild side effects, such as pain where the needle was given, tiredness, chills, headache, and muscle pain can be expected and indicates that the vaccine is working to produce protection or immunity. These side effects should go away in a few days.

The Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: For Children (age 5-11) describes possible side effects and next steps if your children is experiencing side effects that are worrying you.

Preparing Your Child for Vaccination

Become familiar with latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine before having a conversation with your child. Have an open discussion, ask your child what they’ve heard about the vaccine and listen to their responses, and be honest when answering questions they may have. The following resources provide more tips about speaking with your child about the COVID-19 vaccine:

The fear of needles is very common in both adults and children. If your child’s fear is so great that it stops them from getting needles, then they may have a condition known as needle phobia. Help your child cope with getting a needle by staying calm, focusing on the positive, not focusing on the negative, making positive coping statements, and offering distractions.

Sometimes, the fear of needles is so great it may cause a person to feel faint. Ask your child to lie down for the vaccination, and to stay lying down for several minutes after the injection before slowly getting up.

Many people have a fear of needles yet still successfully received the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. Below are some needle and vaccination fear resources to help you!

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A with Ontario’s Health Professionals: My child is afraid of needles. What can I do to help? Watch on YouTube.

The CARD System – Youth Vaccine Student Resource

The CARD System - Affiche du système CARD

The CARD System Poster - Activité avec le système CARD

SickKids: The Ask CARD – The CARD system for a better vaccination experience

Why should youth get vaccinated?

Having youth vaccinated will better enable students to remain in school for in-person learning, and further limit the opportunity for this virus to spread. Overall, when there is a high vaccination rate in school-aged individuals and their households, there are fewer outbreaks and closure orders, and fewer disruptions to education, recreation, and time with friends.

Even if you are young and in good health, the COVID-19 virus could still have life-threatening complications or long-term side effects. There is no way to tell how the COVID-19 infection may affect you. People who are fully vaccinated are more likely to have mild or no symptoms.

The vaccination is a safe and effective way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Windsor and Essex County and help our community get back to life before the pandemic.

It is recommended that a parent or guardian attend the vaccination appointment with anyone under 16 years of age.

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe & Effective?

The COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested in youth confirming that it is safe and effective in people aged 12 to 17.

The benefits of limiting the number of cases of COVID-19 far outweigh any potential risks associated with vaccination. In fact, serious side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, such as allergic reactions, are extremely rare.

The COVID-19 vaccine helps build up immunity to the virus, so that your body will fight it off more easily. This can reduce the risk of getting sick from COVID-19 or make symptoms milder if you do get it.

It is very important that you complete a primary vaccination series (2 doses), and continue to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations, to protect yourself as much as possible against COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines are only provided if informed consent is received from the person to be vaccinated. This applies to those aged 12 to 17, and as long as you have the capacity to make this decision. This means that you understand:

  • what vaccination involves,
  • why it is being recommended; and
  • the risks and benefits of accepting or refusing to be vaccinated.

Even if you are able to provide informed consent, it would be a good idea to talk about this decision with your parent/guardian or an adult you trust such as your principal or a teacher. If you are not able to consent to receiving the vaccine, you require consent from your substitute decision-maker, such as your parent or legal guardian.

COVID-19 vaccines, like all vaccines, may cause side effects, though not everyone experiences them. Most who experience side effects report mild side effects within the first 1-2 days after vaccination. The most commonly reported side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine include pain, swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, and mild fever.

The Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet (age 12+) describes possible side effects and next steps if you are experiencing side effects that are worrying you. This information sheet also describes the rare risk of myocarditis/pericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, which is more prevalent in adolescents and young adults. Watch the COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A with Ontario Health Professionals on YouTube: Should I be worried about myocarditis if my child receives the COVID-19 vaccine?

Additional Resources

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Last modified: 
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 2:43pm