How Ontario's Science Table Wants To Handle Vaccinations For Kids 5 To 11 When The Time Comes

With Health Canada one step closer to possibly approving a COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged five to 11, Ontario's Science Table has released new recommendations to encourage vaccine uptake within this age group when given the green light.

In a report released on October 26, the advisory group made four major recommendations to help youth get vaccinated, using evidence from behavioural science and other successful vaccination programs.

It concluded that school-based vaccine clinics and programs are most effective due to their convenience, accessibility, and reach; the science table also suggested: that health care providers recommend COVID-19 vaccines to address concerns; reminders to get the next vaccine dose; and school-based and community health campaigns.

"Given [the] ongoing implementation of the youth COVID-19 vaccination program in Ontario and pending Health Canada approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11, increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake in children and youth will help allow them to continue safely returning to pre-pandemic activities by reducing transmission, hospitalizations, and severe outcomes," the science table wrote.

These recommendations were released on the same day that the FDA approved kid-sized doses of Pfizer for children between the ages of five and 11 in the U.S. Earlier this month, Health Canada announced that it was reviewing data from Pfizer-BioNTech to determine if it would also approve these vaccines for Ca children in that age group.

Premier Doug Ford said that while he encourages everyone to get vaccinated, he won't be mandating vaccines for kids in this age group.

"I'm gonna leave that up to the parents when it comes to five to 11-year-olds," Ford said in an October 26 press conference in Ottawa. "Do we want to get them vaccinated? Yes, but there are some parents that are vaccinated, they're a little hesitant, at the age of five or six. I get it."

Toronto Public Health announced earlier this month that it is already making preparations for if or when Health Canada approves a vaccine for use in young children.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

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