With students returning to in-person learning in four weeks, Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to urge youth to initiate COVID-19 vaccination by getting their first dose or complete their vaccination with a second dose. Getting both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is the best defense against the virus, including the Delta variant, and will provide the opportunity for students to return to school as safely as possible. As of August 9, approximately 78 per cent of youth ages 12 to 17 have initiated vaccination, with approximately 62 per cent having now received both doses.
For the next several weeks, TPH will continue to proactively expand on its current efforts to increase opportunities for youth between ages 12 and 17 and their families to get vaccinated. TPH is working with healthcare partners and local school boards to offer Youth Mobile Vaccine Clinics in neighbourhoods where youth vaccine uptake has been low. These locations were selected as they are easily accessible to the community by foot or transit.
Further opportunities for youth vaccination at schools will be promoted on the TPH social media accounts:
TPH will also continue to closely monitor vaccination rates and, based on coverage rates and case data, proactively identify school communities for additional vaccination opportunities for youth and their families throughout early September. If a COVID-19 outbreak is declared at a school, an in-person vaccine clinic may be held if there is low vaccine coverage rate in the neighbourhood and age group, and/or if community transmission is greatly impacting students.
In addition to the mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics, TPH is working closely with school boards and health care partners to continue to support youth vaccination. Outreach and ambassador activities encouraging youth to get vaccinated are also underway.
Under the provincial Health Care Consent Act, there is no minimum age to provide consent for any medical treatment, including vaccination. Adolescents do not need a parent or guardian to consent on their behalf and do not need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Youth are encouraged to talk to a parent or trusted adults about the risks and benefits of receiving any vaccination. It is the professional and legal responsibility of all healthcare providers to obtain informed consent prior to immunization.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19: About the Vaccines webpage.
“We are working to make sure every resident eligible has access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Throughout the summer, Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto partners have been working to make sure families with children 12 and older are able to get their first and second doses. There is still time for young people to get vaccinated before the new school year starts – this will help protect them, their family, their classmates and their entire school community – so please visit a vaccination clinic as soon as possible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“We are encouraging all eligible youth to get vaccinated before the start of the school year. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against the virus and its more transmissible variants and will allow youth to return to the activities they love as safely as possible.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“Youth Mobile Vaccine Clinics are bringing vaccines directly where data shows they are needed most. We’re building on months of outreach, building peer-to-peer trust, and breaking down every barrier to vaccine access. That’s what success looks like – when every resident in every corner of the city, including young people, has access to the vaccine.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
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