OPH expands COVID-19 children’s vaccine clinics

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Last week, the Province of Ontario announced  starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, parents and guardians will be able to book appointments for children aged six months to under five years old for the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine. 

Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 will also be able to schedule their second booster (fifth dose) at least six months or 168 days after their first booster (fourth dose).

“This lower dose paediatric COVID-19 vaccine, by Moderna, has gone through a very strict approval process from Health Canada,” Ottawa Public Health (OPH) staff released in a statement today (July 26). “Health Canada and The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) have reviewed how the vaccine benefits individuals, while also looking at any risk for possible side effects from the vaccine. The paediatric vaccine has been approved as safe and effective.”

Children under five have been the only major population group without the protection offered from vaccination, leaving many parents worried about their children and the effects of a potential COVID-19 infection, including for people at higher risk around them.

“Having a vaccine for this age group is a vital step in protecting many more children during this resurgence of COVID-19 in our community and ahead of the school year,” OPH said.

Appointments can be booked through the provincial COVID-19 vaccination portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-390 or by checking local pharmacies to find locations that provide the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and guardians are encouraged to make an appointment for their children as drop-in availability will be limited at community vaccine clinics. Some primary care physicians and paediatricians may also provide this vaccine to their clients.

“OPH is working with partners to expand its current COVID-19 clinics to offer additional options for children and their families,” staff said.

Children in Ottawa can look forward to being vaccinated through various initiatives, including:

  • Smaller, rotating family-friendly vaccination clinics operated by OPH across the city:
  • City of Ottawa buildings at 255 Centrum Blvd., Mary Pitt Centre at 100 Constellation Dr., Walter Baker Sports Centre, Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, and Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre and more locations to be added and communicated over the next few weeks.
  • Various partner agencies across the city, including some EarlyON centres and the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre, to be launched and communicated over the next few weeks.
  • OPH Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hubs.
  • The Kids Come First Clinic at CHEO offers vaccinations to children who can’t attend a community vaccination clinic. Visit CHEO’s Vaccination page for details.

OPH expects to receive paediatric vaccine supply this week, with clinics welcoming this new age group as of July 28. Visit the OPH website at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/ChildCOVID19Vaccine for additional clinic details. New clinics and more appointments will be added to meet demand and as more vaccine supply is received.

“OPH is working to make vaccination for children and their families as easy and comfortable as possible, with the option of smaller vaccine clinic spaces, COVID-19 safety precautions, immunization staff trained in administering vaccines to children, superhero photo stations and fun stickers to take home,” staff said. “Parents and guardians can visit our website to get tips on how to prepare for their child’s appointment, such as giving children a snack beforehand and bringing a comforting toy or music to listen to.”

For more information about COVID-19, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVID19

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