Toronto Public Health is preparing to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11.
The health unit announced on September 27 that it has formed a COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Group in anticipation of Health Canada approving shots for the age group.
The planning group includes health partners, school boards, community representatives, and the Ministry of Health.
TPH noted that there are approximately 200,000 children aged five to 11 who are eligible to get vaccinated in the city.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, said that immunizing children will allow them to take part in activities that benefit their health and well-being.
“We continue to do everything we can as a city government to fight COVID-19 and save lives,” said Mayor John Tory.
“This will help keep our kids safe and provide greater protection in our schools and communities across the city.”
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Pfizer announced on September 20 that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe for use in children aged five to 11. Health Canada has yet to approve any vaccines for kids under the age of 12.
TPH said it will inform the public on its vaccination plans for the age group—which will be subject to guidance from the provincial government—once a vaccine is approved.
According to the health unit, recent local data shows that the risk of being hospitalized is 11 times lower, and the risk of being admitted to the ICU is 25 times lower, for fully immunized people over unvaccinated individuals.
“Vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” said councillor Joe Cressy, the chair of Toronto’s board of health.
“Whenever vaccines are approved for use, Team Toronto will be ready to provide vaccines to our kids quickly, easily, and equitably.”