Last updated: January 26, 2022 at 1:36 p.m.

Book a COVID-19 vaccine at a City-run or hospital immunization clinic using the Province’s registration system or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Vaccines are also available at pop-up clinics, pharmacies and some family doctors.

Children 5 to 17 years old are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Children 5 to 11 years old should receive the pediatric Pfizer (10 micrograms) dose. Children must be 5 years of age at the time of vaccination.
  • Youth 12 years of age and older should continue to receive the Pfizer (30 micrograms) dose.
  • First Nations, Inuit, and Métis or healthcare workers aged 16 or older are eligible to receive a booster dose.
  • Children and youth who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a three dose primary series.

Children 5 to 17 years of age should talk about the benefits and risks of getting the vaccine with a parent or trusted adult. This means the young person must understand information about the vaccine, why it is being recommended and what will happen if they accept or refuse vaccination. Parents or legal guardians of younger children will usually have to provide consent on behalf of the child before or at the time of the appointment.

On May 5, 2021, Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15.

On November 19, 2021, Health Canada authorized the use of Pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends a complete series (two doses) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for the 5 to 11 age group.

A child who has COVID-19 symptoms, illness or is a close contact:

Risks of COVID-19 in children

  • Unvaccinated individuals are at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization for COVID-19 infection.
  • The Omicron variant spreads very easily. Children infected with COVID-19 can spread it even if they do not develop symptoms.
  • Most children who get infected with COVID-19, including Omicron, do not usually get very sick. However, some children have developed serious illness and needed hospitalization, even if they did not have other health conditions.
  • COVID-19 infection in children may lead to rare but serious health issues, including:
    • Myocarditis or pericarditis (heart inflammation)
    • Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), a serious inflammatory reaction that occurs about four weeks after having COVID-19.
  • Even with mild symptoms, children can develop a condition called long COVID where they have symptoms weeks or months after getting COVID-19 including shortness of breath, severe tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and more.

Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect children and people around them from COVID-19 related illness, hospitalization and death.

Vaccinating children helps:

  • Reduce COVID-19 virus spread, including the Omicron variant, in the community.
  • Provide protection to friends, family and community members, including people too young to get vaccinated and people who have a higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Protect them from severe illness and being hospitalized.
  • Provide longer protection against COVID-19.

School, sports and other activities

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine helps children go back to school, sports and other activities. Some organizations may require proof of vaccination from those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to participate in activities.

The more children who are vaccinated, the safer school, sports or other activities will be. It will reduce the risk of outbreaks, and prevent closures or disruptions in school and activities. In this way, vaccines help kids get back to ‘normal’, which helps to protect and promote their mental health and wellbeing.

Learn more about the benefits of being fully vaccinated.

Team Toronto will provide vaccination clinics for children and their families at:

Children and youth without OHIP cards, may get vaccinated at any COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Toronto. For details, see residents without OHIP Cards.

School mobile clinics

A mobile school clinic model has been developed in partnership between Team Toronto partners, Toronto Public Health (TPH) and the city’s four public school boards. TPH is working to bring access to vaccinations at or near all public schools in the city.

Parents/guardians and children will receive notice from their school when a clinic is hosted. Specific school vaccine clinic details will be sent in a letter from principals, for their school only.

Toronto hospital and health teams vaccination clinics

Some Hospital and Ontario Health Team (OHT) immunization clinics are providing vaccination to individuals in Toronto. Some locations require appointments, others may offer walk-in vaccinations. Please check their website to review eligibility criteria and booking details for each clinic.

Participating pharmacies

There are more than 450 participating pharmacies in the City of Toronto offering COVID-19 vaccination for children. Most pharmacies book appointments ahead of time and some allow walk-ins.

Please call or visit the pharmacy’s website to review eligibility criteria and check if you need an appointment or if walk-in (first come, first served) vaccinations are available.

You must bring a valid Ontario health (OHIP) card or other form of valid government-issued identification with you to the appointment.

Find a pharmacy in your neighbourhood.

Family health teams and physicians/paediatricians

In total, there are more than 155 health teams, physicians and paediatricians providing 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.

Specialized accommodations/clinics

Holland Bloorview

Holland Bloorview is hosting a specialty COVID-19 vaccination clinic for children aged 5-11 with disabilities. This family-friendly and fully-accessible clinic offers quiet spaces, language translation and ASL to those who need.

Location: Holland Bloorview main level, Coriat Atrium, 150 Kilgour Road

Dates/hours: January 21 & 28, February 4 & 18, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This clinic offers quiet spaces, language translation and ASL to those who need. Nurses with clear masks will also be available.

The clinic is also open to siblings as well as youth aged 12-17 to receive their first or second dose.

Register online to book an appointment. Accommodations requests will be taken during the registration process.

Questions: info@hollandbloorview.ca | text or phone: 416-400-8876 M-Fr 9am – 5pm

CAMH

The CAMH Vaccine Clinic is a small, specialty clinic focussed on supporting medical anxiety and needlephobia. This clinic is run by CAMH staff and physicians.

Book an appointment online or by emailing vaccinationclinic@camh.ca and share any details about additional assistance or accommodations your child may need to support their vaccination.

SickKids

For children ages 5-17, 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. Visit sickkids.ca/vaccineconsult  to make a booking to speak with a Registered Nurse. If you need assistance booking an appointment, please call 437-881-3505 or toll free at 1-888-304-6558

Homebound vaccinations

Children between five (5) and 18 years old living with medical, physical, cognitive or psychosocial needs/conditions that prevent them from visiting a local clinic, pharmacy, or their care provider may get the COVID-19 vaccination in their home.

First, contact your child’s physician or homecare service to see if they offer home vaccination. If they do not, they will complete the Homebound COVID-19 Vaccination Referral Template form and send it to Toronto Paramedic Services (TPS).  TPS will call you and confirm your eligibility and, if confirmed, schedule a date and time for a Community Paramedic to visit and complete the child’s in-home vaccination.

If you have questions after speaking with your child’s physician, you may contact Toronto Paramedic Services by:

Learn more at eligibility for homebound vaccinations.

  • The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested in clinical trials for children age 5 to 11.
  • Health Canada has approved the vaccine as safe and effective for this age group, it meets quality standards, and the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of COVID-19 infection.
  • Health Canada continues to monitor for safety.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years is a smaller dose (one-third) compared to the dose for people age 12 and over. This is because younger children have strong immune systems and need a smaller amount of vaccine to get protected.
  • A lower dose will help reduce vaccine side effects.
  • Children with allergies can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Children with severe allergies to food, medications, and insect bites should all be vaccinated. If your child has had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine or medical product, or if you have other questions about allergic reactions, speak to your health care provider before getting the shot.
  • Compared to the Pfizer vaccine used for people age 12 and over, the pediatric Pfizer vaccine is considered a new product because it uses different buffers (tromethamine/Tris buffers that are commonly used in a variety of other approved vaccines, including for children) that improve stability and storage of the vaccine. This means it can be stored in regular fridges providing us faster and greater access to the vaccine.
  • Children who have had Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) should wait to be vaccinated for at least 90 days after diagnosis [NACI 2021 ]
  • At this time, NACI suggests children 5 to11 years old wait at least 14 days between getting another vaccine (including the flu vaccine) and getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a precautionary measure and a shortened interval between these vaccines may be given on an individual basis. Talk with a health care provider to discuss your situation.
  • The recommended interval between first and second doses is 8 weeks.

COVID-19 vaccines and reproductive health

There is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility, long-term menstrual irregularities, puberty, or normal growth and development.

COVID-19 vaccine side effects in children

Common COVID-19 side effects in children are similar to those seen in adults. Side effects are usually mild and go away within one to three days. They include:

  • Sore arm near the injection site
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • Achy muscles or joints
  • Fever and chills

Very rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation) have been reported after getting the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in youth and young adults. It is important to know that there is a greater risk of myocarditis or pericarditis if someone gets COVID-19 compared to getting the COVID-19 vaccine (CDC, September 2021).

At least one dose of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine has been given to over 8 million children in the USA. The vaccine continues to be safe. The risk of myocarditis or pericarditis in children following vaccination is rare.

More information on myocarditis and pericarditis:

It is important to share information in an age-appropriate way with your child about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. See How to Talk to Kids about Getting Vaccinated (French ) to guide your conversation.

If your child is afraid of needles

Fear of needles is common. Here are some tips to improve your child’s experience when getting a vaccine:

  • Talk to your child about the health visit. Allow them to ask you and clinic staff questions.
  • Have your child pick an item to bring to the vaccine clinic that will help distract them and/or give them comfort.
  • Have your child wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm.
  • Take deep breaths together with your child and try to stay calm.
  • Offer praise. Positive reinforcement works for kids of all ages.

For more information:

Second dose appointments can be booked after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is strongly recommended that everyone (five years of age and older) get two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that children get their second dose eight weeks after receiving their first dose. An eight week interval will allow children to develop a strong and robust immune response to the second dose, that will last longer.

Children who receive the pediatric Pfizer vaccine (10 mcg) for their first dose and who turn 12 years old before getting the second dose may receive the youth/adult Pfizer vaccine (30 mcg). If the second dose given is the pediatric Pfizer vaccine, this is considered valid. A child will be considered fully vaccinated when they receive two doses of the vaccine AND 14 days have passed since the second dose.

As an added safety measure, children who experience myocarditis/pericarditis after receiving their first dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine are recommended to delay their second dose until more information is available. NACI, Public Health Ontario  and the Ministry of Health continue to follow this closely and will update this recommendation as more evidence becomes available.

Download posters and graphics about vaccine-related information for children here. You can also find resources related to vaccines for the general public as well as face masks, physical distancing, washing your hands, and more.

Document Image Description Translations
Get the COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds. Download the 8.5″ x 11″ poster for Let’s get TO Kids Vaccinated – Get the COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds. Coming soon.
COVID-19 vaccine now available for ages 5-11 Download the 8.5″ x 11″ poster for Let’s get TO Kids Vaccinated – COVID-19 vaccine now available for ages 5-11. Coming soon.
COVID-19 vaccine now available for ages 5-11 Download the 11″ x 8.5″ poster for Let’s get TO Kids Vaccinated – COVID-19 vaccine now available for ages 5-11. Coming soon.
COVID-19 vaccine now available for ages 5-11 Download the 11″ x 8.5″ poster for Let’s get TO Kids Vaccinated – COVID-19 vaccine now available for ages 5-11. Coming soon.