Province announces vaccine appointments for children six months and up

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Children between the ages of six months and five years will soon be able to book their appointments for the paediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

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The Ontario government announced in a media release on Thursday that parents and caregivers will be able to book vaccine appointments through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, public health units, and directly through participating primary care providers and pharmacies beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 28.

A lower dose of the paediatric Moderna vaccine was first approved by Health Canada for use in young children on July 14, and the province is now in the process of distributing vaccine to vaccination locations across Ontario.

“Our team at KFL&A Public Health are prepared and will have appointments available for children aged six months to under five years starting next week,” said medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington , Dr. Piotr Oglaza, in an email to the Whig-Standard. “Vaccination will be available by appointment only for this age group. Appointments will be available for booking on our website on Thursday, July 28 at 8 a.m.”

Oglaza is encouraging parents and caregivers to vaccinate their children, and says that anyone with questions or concerns should speak with their primary care providers.

“Although young children typically experience mild symptoms if infected with COVID-19, some children may become very sick and require hospitalization. Vaccination will help to improve the immune response and provide further protection.  Should parents or caregivers have questions, we ask that you speak directly with your health care provider. We encourage parents in the community to consider getting their child vaccinated, especially if they are immunocompromised or more vulnerable to COVID-19,” Oglaza said.

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Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore echoed Oglaza’s call to vaccinate young children.

“We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have helped lower the rate of infection in our communities throughout the pandemic,” Moore said in the media release from the province.  “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.”

In addition to speaking with primary care providers, any parents or caregivers with questions regarding the paediatric vaccine can contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to speak with a specialist, or go to the COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service and book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids Registered Nurse.

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