Ontario announced on Thursday it plans to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to adolescence between the age of 12 and 17, starting the week of May 31.
Young people in Ontario will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their first dose and additional special dedicated youth and family clinics throughout the week of June 14 and the week of June 21.
The provincial update on the rollout for teens came amid Premier Doug Ford’s announcement that Ontario is extending its Stay-at-Home order until June 2. It was set to expire on May 19.
With the extension of the Stay-at-Home order, all Ontario public schools will continue to operate under the remote-learning model.
The province said it will work with public health units to offer both doses of the vaccine to youth 12 to 17 by the end of August in collaboration with school boards to try to get children back to in-class learning.
“Expanding vaccines to youth 12 and up will bring us one step closer to normalcy for our students,” Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education said in a release. “We are focused on delivering a safe, stable, and well-resourced learning experience with an additional $1.6-billion in resources to protect students and school communities in the 2021-22 school year.”
Children will be able to access vaccines via including mass vaccination clinics, community or school pop-ups, and pharmacies, according to the provincial government.
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The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received approval from Health Canada for use on young teens last week, and provinces have been working to incorporate youth in vaccination plans that initially only focused on the adult population.
Ontario is on track to open up vaccine eligibility to anyone 18 and older the week of May 24.
As of May 13, nearly 6.5 million doses have been administered in all of Ontario.