Last updated: March 7, 2023
Pediatric Moderna Spikevax (25 mcg) and pediatric Pfizer- BioNTech (3 mcg) vaccines for children 6 months to under 5 years of age are available. Parents/caregivers can book appointments online or visit a mobile vaccination clinic near you. The COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
As the weather gets colder and people spend more time indoors, there is an increase in COVID-19, flu and other respiratory virus activity. Vaccination, including the COVID-19 and flu vaccine, is one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
All children aged 6 months and up are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Children must be at least 6 months of age at the time of vaccination.
A primary series is considered complete when either:
Note: The series must be completed with the same vaccine.
For children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, the monovalent Moderna (25mcg) is preferred and recommended by NACI. This will allow children to complete their primary series after three doses instead of the four doses needed with the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech (3mcg).
The pediatric mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as (i.e same day) or any time before or after a different vaccine. Speak to a health care provider about the benefits and risks.
Parents/guardians may choose one of these vaccine products at the time of vaccination. It is not recommended to mix products for your infant or child’s primary series doses. Your child should receive the same product for all their primary series doses, whether it is Pfizer or Moderna.
4 and 5 year old vaccination
5 and 6 year old vaccination
To make the best decision for your family, contact your health care provider or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to speak with a health specialist. Parents/caregivers can also book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids Registered Nurse through the COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service or the Scarborough Health Network’s VaxFacts Clinic to speak with a doctor.
Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect children and people around them from COVID-19 related illness, hospitalization and death.
Learn more about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The more young children who are vaccinated, the safer daycare, school, and other social activities will be. It will help reduce the risk of outbreaks, and prevent disruptions of important social activities. Getting vaccinated after a recent COVID-19 infection can provide longer lasting immunity.
The pediatric vaccines are effective and safe for young children.
Health Canada performed a thorough review of the pediatric Moderna and pediatric Pfizer vaccines and determined that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks for children in this age group.
It is important to note the clinical trials evaluating the pediatric Moderna dose (25 mcg) and the pediatric Pfizer (3 mcg) vaccines took place in Canada and the United States when Omicron was the main variant infecting people.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendation for this vaccine is pending. Health Canada reviewed the clinical trials to determine the effectiveness data on the pediatric Pfizer (3 mcg) vaccine for children ages 6 months to under 5 years.
The clinical trial showed:
The NACI recommendations to approve this vaccine were based on:
The clinical trial showed that children under 5 years of age who received the pediatric Moderna 2 dose primary series:
With both vaccines, there were NO cases of myocarditis or pericarditis. Both vaccines are great options producing high levels of immune response.
NACI, Health Canada and PHAC will continue to closely monitor real world data from the use of this vaccine for potential rare and very rare side effects.
Common COVID-19 side effects in young children are similar to those seen in adults. Side effects are usually mild and go away within one to three days. They include:
There is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility, long-term menstrual irregularities, puberty, or normal growth and development.
It is recommended that children still complete their vaccination series and booster if eligible, even after a COVID-19 infection. Immunity from an infection may not last and people can get COVID-19 again. For recommendations on when to get a COVID-19 vaccine, see Previous COVID-19 Infection.
If the child is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 infection, they can get vaccinated as long as self-isolation (if required) is complete, and they are free of symptoms or their symptoms have resolved.
All City-run clinics are able to offer accommodation, including support for babies and children. Each clinic has parking near the entrance, ramps, elevators, and wheelchairs.
Staff are also on site at each clinic to support as necessary. Clients who need a care provider or service animal with them will be accommodated. There are also privacy rooms available upon request.
COVID-19 vaccines are also available to eligible residents 6 months and over at select mobile vaccination clinics.
Children 6 months and older may be vaccinated at a local pharmacy. Most pharmacies book appointments ahead of time and some allow walk-ins.
Check with the pharmacy before you go to confirm:
For more information and locations, please visit the Ontario government’s webpage for COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations.
Select health teams, physicians and paediatricians provide COVID-19 vaccinations in their clinic. Doctors will contact their patients directly if they are participating and will direct you on how to book your appointment.
For children requiring medical vaccination support, SickKids can help coordinate their COVID-19 vaccination appointment and offer specialized services including drive-through vaccination and the availability of Child Life Specialists and paediatric vaccinators.
SickKids will be running specialized vaccine clinics at the SickKids COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination and Community Outreach Centre (CTC) for children aged six months to under five years old who require additional support for their COVID-19 vaccine due to medical reasons (e.g., medical complexity, needle phobia).
When: Wednesdays between 10am to 3pm (by appointment only)
Where: On site at SickKids through the 555 University Ave entrance
How to book:
Routine immunization for infants and toddlers is still important during COVID-19. Vaccine preventable diseases are still spreading globally. Waiting to vaccinate can leave children vulnerable to diseases. Vaccines should only be postponed if your child is sick with respiratory symptoms to prevent any possible spread of COVID-19.
Children 6 months and older may receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as, or at any time before or after any other vaccines, including the flu shot.
For more details, see:
Vaccines given with a needle can be painful and frightening for a child. No parent/guardian wants to see their child in pain, however a there are steps you can take to help reduce pain for your child.
For infants and babies, consider:
For children under 5 years of age, consider:
Presented on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 by Dr. Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, this webinar covered:
View the presentation recording and slideshow.
COVID-19 vaccination has now been approved for children 6 months to under 5 years of age. Staff and volunteers from Toronto’s childcare and early learning sector are invited to attend a webinar that will provide up-to-date information about:
This session will be presented by Dr. Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, and includes a question and answer period.
Session 1 took place on Monday, September 19, 2022. View the presentation recording and slideshow.
Session 2 took place on Thursday, September 22, 2022. View the presentation recording and slideshow.