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Media Release: COVID-19 vaccination will help keep kids safe and get them back to enjoying all the activities they love

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties – Nov. 22, 2021 – Beginning this week, HPEPH will be offering vaccination clinics for children aged 5 to 11. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region and with the holiday season approaching, getting everyone fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

To book your child’s appointment for the COVID-19 vaccination at an upcoming public health immunization clinic, please visit  covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine on or after Tuesday, November 23 to view available appointments. Children born in 2016 and earlier can also receive the vaccine at participating local pharmacies.

If you would like to review additional information about vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11, including information about safety and the approval process, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth.

COVID-19 vaccination will help keep kids safe from serious side effects of the virus and will also help avoid disruption in their lives. Getting vaccinated will help children get back to enjoying all the activities they love, and will help reduce potential absences from school, sports, or other activities they enjoy. While COVID-19 tends to be mild in children and youth, some do experience severe cases, side effects, and even hospitalization.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been thoroughly tested to ensure it is safe for children aged 5 to 11. Health Canada reviews vaccines thoroughly before approval, to ensure that benefits outweigh any potential risks. No compromises have been made in the testing and approval process. The pediatric Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized by Health Canada for use in individuals aged 5 to 11. Children in this age group will receive a smaller dose than those aged 12 and older (10mcg), and to be fully vaccinated they must receive a second dose a minimum of eight weeks after the first. Helpful information and resources for children and their families to make informed decisions about vaccination are available at hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth.

HPEPH is working to ensure that vaccination opportunities are accessible and welcoming for children and their families. HPEPH nurses have received additional training in immunizing children and will treat your child with compassion and respect. HPEPH vaccination clinics will be available at a variety of times and locations, and pop-up clinics will also be offered in the coming weeks. Children aged 5 to 11 can also receive the vaccination at participating local pharmacies. For vaccination opportunities, visit hpePublicHealth.ca/vaccine-booking.

“We know that parents want to make a decision that is best for their children, and COVID-19 vaccination has been thoroughly tested to ensure it is safe for children and youth,” says Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “The pandemic has been especially difficult for families of young children, who continue to be impacted by absences from school, sports, or other activities they love. Vaccination will help keep these children as safe as possible, while reducing disruptions in their lives.”

Planning for your child’s appointment

To help reduce potential anxiety, talk to your child about why the vaccine is important, and what to expect at their appointment. When planning to attend your child’s appointment, please have them wear a short-sleeved shirt (or other shirt that allows the upper arm to be easily accessible). While food and drink are not allowed in the clinic, please have them eat something before the appointment, and have something ready for them to eat afterwards. Consider bringing a book or toy to distract them during the vaccination and the required 15-minute wait time. To help maintain physical distancing, we ask that only one caregiver attend with each child.

For more information and other helpful resources to help you and your child prepare for their appointment, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth. If you still have questions after reviewing our web page, registered nurses at SickKids hospital are available listen and answer your questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. You can book a consultation to speak with a nurse at SickKids.

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Media contacts

Emily Tubbs
etubbs@hpeph.ca

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Children born in 2016 or earlier are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination! To book an appointment, visit Ontario.ca/book-vaccine. For additional information and resources, visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth.

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first or second dose, can attend HPEPH walk-in clinics.

Individuals who are eligible for a 3rd dose/booster must book an appointment to receive a vaccine at our clinics.

All eligible individuals can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

PROOF OF VACCINATION

Download your proof of vaccination with QR code on the provincial booking site: covid19.ontariohealth.ca.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.