Adolescents from 12 to 17 years of age are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. They must have reached the age of 12 when the appointment is made.
Health Canada has authorized the Pfizer Messenger RNA vaccine for this age group.
How it will work
The first dose of the vaccine for adolescents 12-17 years of age will be administered in one of two ways:
Vaccine will be administered in schools during the weeks of June 7 and 14, at a vaccination clinic or mobile clinic, depending on the region. If required, students will be bussed to a vaccination clinic. This option will be available for both public and private schools.
Vaccination by appointment
Vaccination takes place at a vaccination clinic, by appointment. Depending on age, the student or parent, is responsible for booking the appointment and transport. Note that the vaccination of adolescents is done only in vaccination centres (not in pharmacies).
Vaccination with the first dose by appointment should be mostly completed by June 23 but will continue throughout the summer to reach adolescents who were unable to use the in-school option for one reason or another. Students that turn 12 during the summer will therefore be able to get the vaccine prior to the resumption of classes.
The second dose
The second dose of the vaccine will be administered when school resumes in the fall of 2021, or before then if possible. The way this will work will be announced during the summer.
Adolescents 12 and 13 years of age need the consent of a parent or legal guardian to be vaccinated. The school will provide the COVID-19 vaccination consent form that must be signed by the child’s parental authority.
Adolescents 14 years of age and older can give their own consent for the COVID-19 vaccination.
Schools will provide an information sheet to all students.
Reasons for adolescents to get vaccinated
Even if young people are much less at risk for severe complications if they catch COVID-19 as compared to older people, vaccinating 12-17 year-olds has a number of benefits:
- Vaccinating young people will restrict the virus from spreading and help control the pandemic by stopping transmission in the youth’s immediate circle.
- Vaccinating young people makes it possible to loosen other hygiene measures that control the spread of the virus and severely impact teaching, academic success, and student retention and overall well-being.
- Vaccinating young people caps outbreaks and limits classroom closures, which also facilitates student success and retention.
- Vaccinating young people means that sports and extracurricular activities can resume. These activities have a major positive effect on the mental and physical health of adolescents.