Local families encouraged to make informed decision about vaccinations for children
As of 8 a.m. today (July 28), parents and caregivers of children aged six months to under five years are now able to book appointments for the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) and local health care providers will begin assisting in the roll out of pediatric vaccines. Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 will also become eligible to schedule their second booster dose (fifth dose) if at least six months have passed since their first booster (fourth dose).
How to book the COVID-19 pediatric vaccine
Parents and guardians of children ages six months to five years can now book an appointment for their child to receive the recently approved pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. They can do so in the following ways:
Family Physician: If you have a family doctor, contact their office directly to get the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Many health care providers are providing the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children under age five in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.
If you do not have a family doctor, or your doctor is not offering COVID-19 vaccines to children ages six months to five years, you can attend a family-friendly clinic organized by the Health Unit. To make an appointment, use the Provincial Booking System or call 1-833-943-3900.
Some local pharmacies may also be offering COVID-19 vaccines for young children under age five. People are encouraged to visit www.hkpr.on.ca or the Ontario government’s COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations web page for the latest list of these locations.
“COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and have helped reduce serious illness and hospitalizations for those age five years and older throughout the pandemic,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health with the HKPR District Health Unit. “It’s great to see this same increased level of protection now available to the very youngest members of our society.”
Although most children who get infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms, some can become very sick and require hospitalization.
“The vaccine offered to children aged six months to under five years is a lower dose that is safe and effective at protecting this age group from COVID-19,” Dr. Bocking adds. “Even if a child has already had COVID-19, vaccination will help to further improve the immune response and provide increased protection.”
She encourages families to make an informed decision about the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and guardians can speak to their health care provider, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a phone appointment to speak to a SickKids registered nurse.
Earlier this month, Health Canada approved use of the pediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which is a slightly modified, lower dose than the same vaccine given to children ages six to 11 years of age. The Moderna vaccine for young children will be given in two doses at least eight weeks apart. Three doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine are being recommended for children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, with an interval of four to eight weeks between each dose.
It is recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for young children be given 14 days before or after a different vaccine.
First, second and booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines continue to be available in the area. For a complete list of dates, times, locations and eligibility information, visit the Health Unit website (www.hkpr.on.ca).
Submitted by HKPRDHU