Last updated: September 23, 2022 at 5:01 p.m.
Health Canada approved the use of pediatric Moderna Spikevax mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to under 5 years of age. Two doses are required for a primary series. Parents/caregivers can book appointments. Learn more at upcoming virtual information sessions.
On September 9, 2022 Health Canada authorized the use of pediatric Pfizer–BioNTech for children 6 months to under 5 years of age. Three doses are required for a primary series. Currently this vaccine is not available in Ontario.
Vaccination 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 now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Children must be at least 6 months of age at the time of vaccination.
NACI and the Ministry of Health recommend that:
For children who had a recent COVID-19 infection, it is recommended to:
For children with a previous history of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), regardless of immunocompromised status, they may receive the vaccine when clinical recovery has been achieved or ≥90 days since the onset of MIS-C, whichever is longer.
The pediatric Moderna vaccine should be given 14 days before or after a different vaccine to help determine the source of any possible side effects. Consult a health care provider if you have any questions.
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 Moderna vaccine is effective and safe for young children.
Health Canada performed a thorough review of the pediatric Moderna and pediatric Pfizer (monovalent) vaccines and determined that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks for children in this age group.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations to approve this vaccine were based on:
The clinical trial evaluating the pediatric Moderna dose vaccine took place in Canada and the United States when Omicron was the main variant infecting people. The trial found that for children under 5 years of age the pediatric Moderna (25mcg) 2 dose primary series produced an immune response equaling the response seen in young adults 18 to 25 years of age, who received the 100mcg 2 dose primary series.
The clinical trial also showed that:
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 you can get COVID-19 again. For recommendations on when to get your 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.
Check with the hospital before you go to see if they offer pediatric vaccines.
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:
More information and locations, please visit the Ontario government’s webpage for COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations.
School mobile clinics are being set up at selected Toronto elementary and secondary schools to offer school vaccines as well as COVID-19 vaccines. These clinics will offer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone age 6 months and up. For more information, visit School Immunization Program & Catch-up Clinics
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.
The Hospital for Sick Children
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.
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.
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:
Holland Bloorview Hospital is hosting a fully accessible, sensory-and family-friendly vaccination clinic for children aged 6 months and up with disabilities and/or complex care needs as well as their siblings, family members and the general public.
In collaboration with TPH, Kindercare Pediatrics will be hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children ages 6 months to under 5 years through appointment only at the following locations:
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.
At this time, the pediatric Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine should not routinely be given concurrently (i.e., same day) with other vaccines. Since this is a newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine in this age group, NACI recommends this COVID-19 vaccine should be given 14 days before or after a different vaccine. This will help to determine if a potential side effect is due to this COVID-19 vaccine or a different vaccine.
A shorter interval between the administration of Moderna Spikevax (25 mcg) vaccine and a different vaccine may be warranted in some circumstances at the discretion of a health care provider.
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:
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.