Destination Normal: The COVID-19 Vaccine for Youth Aged 12 to 17
Vaccination appointments are available NOW to everyone 12+ at www.Ontario.ca/bookvaccine. Book your appointment today!
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for Canadians aged 12 and older. The vaccine is voluntary, safe, and provides excellent protection against getting or spreading COVID-19. Here are some important things to know about the vaccine.
We all want to get back to doing the things we love. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will help us get there.
Getting vaccinated will help protect ourselves, our friends and our loved ones from COVID-19. And once enough people have gotten the vaccine, we can start going back to the things we love doing like sports, hanging out with friends, and going to school. The faster we can get everyone vaccinated the faster life will return to normal again.
Right now, the Ontario government is aiming to have all young people who want the vaccine fully vaccinated before the start of the next school year. Click here to learn about booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
The vaccine helps our body build immunity and decreases our chance of spreading COVID-19 to others.
All vaccines work by teaching our body how to recognize and fight off infections. The COVID-19 vaccine does this by presenting our body with something that looks similar to the COVID-19 virus, so that our immune system can learn how to recognize it and produce its own natural protection. This natural protection then helps to keep us from becoming sick if we come in contact with the real COVID-19 virus in the future.
Millions of COVID-19 vaccines have already been given to youth worldwide and are proven to work well and be very safe.
In clinical trials (the testing phase of the vaccine development process), the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was shown to be highly effective in young people aged 12 to 17, as well as in adults. It’s expected to be up to 95% effective after two doses!
For the best and longest-lasting protection, it’s very important that you get both doses of the vaccine.
You may experience temporary side effects, although not everyone experiences them.
Other than being one step closer to normal activities (YAY!), like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines may cause some side effects. They’re usually mild and clear up in a few hours or days. For example, you might have a bit of soreness in your arm where you received the vaccine. You might also have some tiredness, chills, a mild headache, achiness, or a low fever. These are positive signs that the vaccine is beginning to work.
Know that serious side effects are extremely rare. Clinic staff are prepared to manage a severe allergic reaction should it occur. If you experience side effects that are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days, talk to your parents or caregivers and contact your healthcare provider.
At this time, it’s important to continue following public health measures.
Until most people in our region have been vaccinated with both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important to continue following public health measures to stop the spread of the virus and stay safe – even if you’ve received the vaccine. This means maintaining physical distancing, wearing your mask if keeping a distance isn’t possible, staying home when sick, and washing your hands often.
It’s normal to have questions about the vaccine.
Having questions is normal and healthy. While there is a lot of information on the Internet and social media, not all of it is accurate. If you’re looking for information about COVID-19 vaccines, be sure to rely on trusted, expert sources. Reach out to your parents, a trusted adult and/or your family doctor, pediatrician or nurse practitioner.
Below are some websites with information that has been fact-checked and verified by Ontario health experts.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Youth – Information in multiple languages for youth, including answers to frequently asked questions
COVID-19 vaccines for youth – Practical information on:
- How to book an appointment
- What to bring to the appointment
- Informed consent
- What to expect after the vaccine, and more