News Release
May 21, 2021

Toronto Public Health (TPH) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) along with vaccination partners, are leading the effort in Toronto to ensure all youth 12 to 17 years of age have the opportunity to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.

At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved by Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) for youth age 12 years and older. Youth must be at least 12 years old at the time of the vaccination.

Today, the Province of Ontario announced that youth will be able to book vaccination appointments through the provincial booking system to access their first dose at a City-run immunization site as of Sunday, May 23 at 8 a.m.

On May 17, Toronto vaccination partners, in collaboration with community agencies and school boards, started operating pilot pop-up vaccination clinics for youth 12 to 17 years of age and their families to receive their first doses. Opportunities for youth vaccination will continue to expand over the next month. School-based pop-up clinics will also be available in hot spot neighbourhoods.

SickKids is coordinating efforts with all vaccination partners and providing staffing resources to support youth vaccination. SickKids is not a vaccination site but is offering vaccination appointments to the highest and high-risk SickKids patients through a partnership with University Health Network (UHN). Eligible families will be contacted directly.

There will be a significant and coordinated effort to continue to engage and immunize Toronto youth 12 to 17 years of age that will conclude with a two-week vaccination blitz during the weeks of June 14 and June 21. Immunization clinics for youth with special needs or particular accessibility requirements are also being planned. More details on these initiatives will be released as they become available.

Youth do not need to attend a clinic with a parent as parental consent is not required for them to receive a vaccine, provided the health-care provider administering the vaccine deems the youth capable of understanding their decision. Parents and youth are encouraged to discuss vaccination together to ensure they understand the benefits and risks.

Under the provincial Health Care Consent Act, there is no minimum age to provide consent for vaccination. It is the professional and legal responsibility of all health-care providers to obtain informed consent prior to immunization.

Further information about youth vaccination and consent will continue to be made available to youth and parents or guardians in collaboration with Toronto Public Health, SickKids, other health-care partners and school boards.

Providing vaccinations for all who are eligible, including children and youth, will help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in our community and allow kids to participate in activities that benefit their health and well-being. Vaccination continues to be an important way to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from COVID-19, including the variants of concern. We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated at their earliest opportunity.


“Vaccinating young people plays an incredibly important role in reducing COVID-19 spread in our communities. TPH is pleased to be working closely with one of the best pediatric hospitals in Canada to educate and vaccinate youth to protect them from COVID-19.”

– Dr. Allison Chris, Co-Chair of the Toronto Region Youth Vaccine Table and Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health

“Providing vaccinations to youth and their families is an essential part of the fight against COVID-19. Offering vaccination opportunities within their communities helps to break down barriers and ensure access to vaccination, especially in areas that are hardest hit by COVID-19.”

– Dr. Julia Orkin – Co-Chair of the Toronto Region Youth Vaccine Table and Medical Director for Integrated Community Partnerships, SickKids

“Our children and youth represent 100 per cent of our tomorrow and protecting them from COVID-19 directly benefits their physical, social and mental health, while also protecting their families and those around them.”

– Dr. Lennox Huang – Executive Sponsor of the Toronto Region Youth Vaccine Table and Chief Medical Officer & Vice President for Medical and Academic Affairs, SickKids

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, consistent and coordinated approach to paediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations
Toronto Public Health