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Covid-19, Ontario starts vaccinations for children between 6 months and 5 years old

TORONTO – Today the Province of Ontario opened reservations for anti-Covid vaccines to infants and preschool children: the appointments – for children aged between six months and less than five years – are therefore available through the portal on line of the province and many parents breathed a sigh of relief, like those interviewed by the CBC. Like Sapphire Miller, mother of two children aged 15 months and four: “I am happy to offer my children extra protection,” she said. 

Or like Shawna Rothgeb-Bird, for whom the ability to vaccinate her four-year-old son is “a great relief” as the child suffers from asthma and will now have extra protection against the virus when school starts in September. “He is probably the highest risk of all in our home … so it was a great feeling to be able to book his vaccination,” added the mother.

The waiting times do not seem long: today, Isabelle Duchaine is already setting appointments for her sixteen months and two and a half year olds babies for today and Robyn Sharpe has scheduled an appointment for her sixteen month old daughter for the next week. Sharpe herself does not hide, however, some concerns that are more common to many parents: will the current vaccines target the dominant strain of Covid-19, which at this moment is represented by Omicron and its sub-variants? “(The vaccine) seems like the only thing we can do, so we’re going to go ahead and do it, but I’d like to be a lot calmer,” mom said.

Public health units that include counties of Toronto, Hastings and Prince Edward and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark have been setting up clinics that offer doses as early as today and some pharmacies that are able to start vaccinating are also listed. The immunization effort for the youngest range is expected to increase across the province of Ontario in the coming days.

As know, Health Canada approved Moderna’s pediatric injection this month, and the Ontario Minister of Health says “the vaccine is safe, effective, and will help protect children from the virus”.

Nearly 2 million Canadian children are eligible for COVID-19 immunization since the federal drug regulator approved Moderna’s vaccine for infants and preschoolers in mid-July. Health Canada has decided that this vaccine can be given to children of that age in doses one-quarter the size of those approved for adults.

Moderna’s product is the first Covid vaccine approved for children under five years old in Canada.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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