booster shots to be available to 5 11 year olds
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Booster shots to be available to 5-11 year olds

The day that a lot of parents of young children have been waiting for has arrived.

With kids just days away from returning to school, the Ontario government has announced that children aged 5 to 11 will be eligible for third doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, September 1. Appointments will be available for booking on the province’s vaccination portal as of 8 a.m.

“Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters is still the best tool to keep people healthy and out of hospitals, and to ensure Ontario’s economy stays open,” Minister of Health Sylvia Jones said. “Expanding access to boosters for ages five to 11 will give parents more opportunities to protect themselves, their families and their communities this fall as kids go back to school and as people are spending more time indoors.”

To be eligible for the booster shot, a child must be at least six months removed from their second dose of vaccine. The province recommends that parents who have questions reach out to their primary care provider or their local health unit.

“While we are updating our public health guidance, preventing COVID-19 and other infections is vital to keeping our families, schools and communities safe and healthy,” said Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore. “I strongly encourage all Ontarians to take advantage of vaccine and booster doses that are recommended and available to them, which now includes the availability of a booster dose for children aged five to 11. Ontarians are also encouraged to protect one another by respecting public health guidance, including staying home and taking precautions if you are sick.”

The expansion of eligibility for children comes after Health Canada gave its approval earlier this month to the use of Pfizer’s vaccine as a booster for kids in the 5-11 age range. It was last November when that age group became eligible to receive a first dose.

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